John Manly, Henry Darger, and the Voynich Manuscript

I’ve been listening to a podcast about the Voynich manuscript. At the time of this writing, I haven’t finished it but the podcast is great:

Here’s the Wikipedia article on the manuscript:

Early on, the podcast mentions a researcher into the manuscript named John Manly:

The name sounded familiar and I realized it’s the name of a villain in that sprawling work by Henry Darger:

This is a portion on Manley the villain, from the documentary on Darger:

It is said that Manley was based on a boy from Darger’s childhood, so all of this may be coincidence. However, it’s fun to imagine this:

Manley’s article in Speculum about the Voynich manuscript was published within a year of when Darger was said to have started his work.

I find it interesting that the two men lived in Chicago at the same time, one creating a bizarre book and the other critiquing one.

Most likely coincidence, again, but the idea that Darger was trying to create his own version of the Voynich manuscript in a way is slightly poetic.

Granted, if Darger was going to research things, why not go to nearby DePaul?


About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.