An interesting workshop tomorrow at the Ashmolean gives me pause for thought: what Illustrating Ulysses brings to my mind (apart from Attic vases) is the challenge of looking at the relationship between text and illustration. In the work I’ve being doing this is very much hand-in-hand, and very often precedes publication but this blog brings the practice into (very) adult literature. If, as this writer suggests “some great stories come in daunting packages” what then does the illustrator make of them? What does Bloom look like – or for that matter, any central figure, no matter how detailed the author’s work in describing them?
And of course we might then consider the iconography of children’s literary figures, from Alice (much disputed) or Frodo (trumped by the films? This site asks a curious question) to Red Riding Hood, who, despite growing into her costume (and her age, curiously!) as Jack Zipes outlines, carries as much baggage with her as any character from more complex texts.
So, since this is a brief pause in the day for me, I just want to finish by asking (myself as much as anyone) where does a collaborative project of writing and illustrating differ from illustrating a classic?