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Re: VMs: Notes on f116v.1-2

Hi Gregor,

At 23:19 03/09/2005 +0200, you wrote:
I am a newbie. My name is Gregor Damschen, I am a German classicist and professional philosopher. First of all I would like to say that I am deeply impressed by the work you have done on this exciting MS over the last decade. Even if someone find out some day that there is no meaning behind the VMS, your work will be a rich treasure and unique example of the manifold methods that rational beings have to test when they want to understand an (at first sight) completely unknown text. Second, I have to admit that I do not have a solution for the VMS as a whole (particularly because I fear the "Curse of the Voynich" discovered by Elmar in February this year).

Many similar curses takes pleasure in defeating those who do not believe in them: so, you are are a wise philosopher to admit that you fear it. :-)

Yet I suspect that this particular Curse also takes pleasure in defeating those who believe in it yet fear it. I suspect the actual answer is to believe in it, yet not to fear it. :-o

For me, the important question about this block of text isn't so much "what does it say?", but "why is it such a dog's dinner?" (i.e. why is it such an unappetising mess of twisted intestinal fragments, served up as if it were a delicious meal?) Bobbing for tasty apples in this Pig-Latin-like word soup both is hard work (as you have certainly found) and misses the same point as for Voynichese - that unless your rationalization / translation also manages to explains *why* it's a mess, it's answering the wrong question.

That is, I believe that any proposed solution has to defeat both the Curse and the text: tackling the text alone (as you have done, but as many more have also done with Voynichese) is almost certainly tilting at the wrong windmill. While I'm sure your understanding of Latin is quite immaculate, ISTM that something else entirely is going on in f116v - for instance, why are there Voynichese letters in there? Why does it appear to have the form of one of Kieckhefer's (1989) "charms: prayers, blessings and abjurations"?

Sorry if this sounds overly negative, but the Curse of the Voynich is completely real (both for Voynichese and marginalia-ese), and I don't want you to become another of its victims. :-|

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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