The Rule of four /Ian Caldwell, Dustin Thomason. - Dell. Un cocktail d’ésotéridicule, de suspens soutenable, d’énigmes soporifiques et d’ambiance grande école : très très mauvais. Restent les quelques notes qu’on peut prendre concernant l’Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, le livre qui tue ou qui rend milliardaire, et son contexte :
The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili , which in latin means "Poliphilio’s struggle for Love in a Dream", was published around 1499 by a venitian man named Aldus Manutius. The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili is an encyclopedia masquerading as a novel, a dissertation on everything from architecture to zoology, written in a style that even a tortoise would find slow. (P. 45).
... a poisonous herb called deadly nightshade, which, when applied to the eyes, dilates the pupils [...] In those days it was used by italian women as a cosmetic drug, because large pupils were considered a mark of beauty. It was this practice that earned the plant its other name : "beautiful woman", or belladonna. (P. 2).
Sarcophagus, from the Greek meaning "flesh-eating"... because Greek coffins were made of limestone, which consumed the entire body - everything but the teeth - within forty days. (P. 33).
... who gave Moses horns ? It’s from a mistranslation of the Bible. When Moses come down from Mount Sinai, Exodus says, his face glows with rays of light. But the Hebrew word for "rays" can also be translated as "horns", karan versus keren. When Saint Jerome translated the Old Testament into Latin, he thought no one but Christ should glow with rays of light, so he advanced the secondary translation. And that’s how Michelangelo carved his Moses. (P. 184).
An eagle killed Aeschylus by dropping a tortoise on him[...] Aeschylus was bald. The eagle was trying to break the shell open by dropping it on a rock. (P. 365).
Sandro di Mariano - better known by the nickname his older brother gave him : "little barrel", or Botticelli. (P. 442).