Algorithmic instruction code can be found, centuries before the invention of the computer, in Latin poetry, the Kabbalah, Western composed music and several forms of experimental poetry from the 17th to the 20th century, thus forming an important, but often neglected historical pretext of contemporary computer arts.This extensive online publication tries to sketch its rich and very contradictory history from Pythagorean mathematics to contemporary digital art and culture, showing how the idea and phantasm of the word becoming flesh is both written forth and transformed from kabbalistic spells to computer viruses. Available as a PDF, LaTeX or HTML file.