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Picturing a World

Book and Illustration (6): Little, Big

Sixteen years in the making and still counting. An Incunabula Press project to publish a fine edition of John Crowley's fantasy novel, Little Big was officially launched in February 2004. It is to be illustrated—or decorated—with details from artist Peter Milton's surrealistic etchings.  Hopes for publication in 2010 led to the design of the title page. The Little, Big website allows you to read a sample chapter on line.

 

What interests me for this series of blog posts is the idea of combining an existing novel with totally unrelated existing artwork. People ask, would I like to see an illustrated edition of Where the Light Falls? Well, of course! I began this blog to show readers the paintings, sketches, and photographs that influenced me while writing the novel. An e-book with links to such works would be one method of illustrating it.

 

Another would be to use a selection of historic art reproductions like those used in Harriet Scott Chessman's superb Mary Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper. A third model is given here—incorporation of independently created works by a living artist (see my previous post on Tatterdemalion). And a fourth would be to find a living artist who could capture the flavor of the setting and the characters. But who? I'm most familiar with the illustrators of children's books. Wonderful as they are, none seems quite to fit. If you have one in mind, let me know so I can at least daydream!

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