Hypnerotomachia Poliphili = The strife of love in a dream / Francesco Colonna ; the entire text translated for the first time into English with an introduction by Joscelyn Godwin
Colonna, Francesco, d. 1527
The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, with its unpronounceable title, indecipherable text, and unidentifiable author, is one of the most puzzling, enigmatic and fascinating books ever conceived. Since its publication (1499), it has surprised its readers with its vast knowledge of architecture and landscape and garden design, but also engineering, painting and sculpture. Part fictional narrative, and part scholarly treatise, the book is, in addition, an extreme expression of erotic furore, aimed at everything, especially architecture, that the protagonist Poliphilo encounters in his quest for his beloved Polia, whose name translated from the Greek as meaning "many things." The book is also a political manifesto defending the right of women to express their own sexuality and the superiority of Eros, beauty and knowledge over aggression and war. Liane Lefaivre, in her Leon Battista Alberti's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, is the first to attribute this strange, dreamlike manifesto in defense of humanism to Leon Battista Alberti. The editing of the electronic book is based on research published in Liane Lefaivre's Leon Battista Alberti's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili published by the MIT Press and coincides with its release.a.