This book is an experience. One look at the cover of this edition, illustrated by Eduardo Arroyo, and you are drawn in, curious and interested to discover the story through the eyes of the artist. If you have ever read Ulysses by James Joyce you are aware of the challenge it brings. If you have not read the work, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the plot so you can more easily digest the work alongside the art.
Set in Dublin, Joyce’s Ulysses, details a day in the life of its diverse characters. The illustrations by Arroyo, interspersed among the pages, provide a fresh take and direction on the prose. The artwork, sometimes full page, but often just an image on the corner of a page, encourage the eye to take a moment and understand the prose in a different way, to contemplate the work through another’s eyes.
Arroyo’s choice and juxtapostioning of objects within his interpretation of the prose requires the reader to stop and consider their meaning before moving on, maybe to do some “sleuthing,” in order to determine the artist’s intention and ultimately emerge with a different knowledge of the work than would have been previously garnered through prose alone.
This book is a conversation piece, perfect on the coffee table at gatherings, designed to illicit comment and deep discussion among those who are familiar with the work and encourage interest for those who have not.
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