by Hildegard von Bingen and Huw Lemmy
introductory story by Bhanu Kapil
afterword by Alice Spawls
"Like Hildegard von Bingen herself, Unknown Language imagines a new mode of being, a way of life outside of the confines of contemporary society. By introducing a new vocabulary, it offers access to an expanse beyond its covers." --Chicago Review of Books
A mutant fiction of speculative mysticism.
Long before the collapse of the Information Age, in the twelfth century since the appearance of the prophet Christ, young Hildegard finds grace.
In this story of survival and miracles, Hildegard encounters love, both queer and divine, and great peril. As the visionary healer travels through the unfamiliar landscape following a great cataclysm, she discovers the mythic quantum energy of viriditas in the natural world around her. Her journey becomes one of return, to the sacred truth of her own being.
Hildegard’s tale is received in the plague year of 2020 by Alice Spawls, and then in the next century, in a sea cave with cracked amethyst walls. On planet Avaaz, once known as Earth, Bhanu Kapil’s Pinky Agarwalia finds fragments of a beautiful codex. Lingua Ignota, Hildegard's unknown language, bears seeds of renewal for a world in flux.
Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179) was a German Benedictine nun and polymath. She is renowned as a composer of sacred monophonic music, as well as a mystic, scientist, herbalist, and author. She is recognized as one of the earliest known women to invent a constructed language. She experienced prophetic visions since childhood and spent many years writing her three volumes of visionary theology: Scivias, the Liber Vitae Meritorum, and the Liber Divinorum Operum. In 2012, she was named a Doctor of the Church, one of only four women with that distinction in the Catholic church.
December 15, 2020
5 x 0.75 x 7.75 inches