The odyssey of Eduardo Arroyo’s illustrated ‘Ulysses’

One hundred years have passed since the first edition of the Ulises by James Joyce and the influence of this literary artifact remains intact. It continues to be scrutinized to the millimeter by hundreds of experts who recompose the cataclysm of its meaning.

If it existed because Joyce himself admitted that sought “immortality” by removing the literary foundations. The novel amasses Ireland, symbolism, cinematographic montage and traces of psychoanalysis, without apparent order or concert in more than 700 pages that very few manage to complete.

The painter drew Ulysses without interpretations GUTENBERG GALAXY

And one more achievement. Few masterpieces have aroused almost equal amounts of visceral rejection and unwavering devotion. The painter Edward Arroyo (1937-2018) was among the militant “Joyceans”. In 1989, during convalescence from a serious illness, a titanic and unprecedented challenge was set: to capture the Ulises in drawings after a commission from the Círculo de Lectores.

“He said that he was about to die and that the fact of being able to work on the illustrations of the Ulises gave him the necessary strength to get out of that complicated situation And yes, he was there, in the hospital, working with the drawings on the bed. It was a whole process for him and it helped him to overcome the disease”, says the editor Joan Tarrida, a personal friend of Arroyo.

The pitfall of copyright

The attempt hit a legal wall. The author’s grandson, Stephen Joyce, controversial executor of the rights to the work, he adamantly refused to be touched alleging that the writer had not wanted it. Actually, the Irishman did ask Picasso for drawings of the Ulises although the man from Malaga never responded to the request. There was also an illustrated book by Matisse with six drawings on The odyssey. vain attempts.

See also  Restaurants pressure diners to add Ukraine donations onto bills

Arroyo’s ‘Ulysses’ is made up of 134 color illustrations Gutenberg Galaxy

Arroyo’s illustrations were finally published with a text by the writer Julián Ríos in 1991. A Ulises without him Ulises in a hidden version to avoid the legal mess.

But Eduardo Arroyo, an insatiable reader as well as an excellent novelist, was not daunted and continued to chase the dream. The artist drew literature: he illustrated the first five books of the Bible, many novels by Juan Goytisolo, he sketched numerous portraits of writers such as Quevedo and scattered references to Kafka or Balzac in his creations. But Ulises it was everything.

“In the last years of his life, he told me many times: we have to do UlisesIt was his greatest illusion”, recalls Tarrida, editor of Galaxia Gutenberg, which has crystallized the painter’s desire. He published this month coinciding with the centenary anniversary, the Ulises in images of Arroyo together with the novel in Spanish and in English in collaboration with the Other Press publishing house.

Arroyó passed away in 2018 and did not see the project of his life come to light Gutenberg Galaxy

Copyright release in Spanish by James Joyce (1882-1941), on December 31, 2021, has settled the pending account. 80 years after the creator’s death, intellectual property passes into the public domain.

Eduardo Arroyó passed away in 2018 and did not see the project of his life come to light, but he did participate in its construction. His Ulises it is a reading in drawings without the temptation of interpretations, under his vigorous and recognizable brushstroke. A fusion of 134 color illustrations and 200 black and white, through which Leopold Bloom, Stephen Dedalus and company parade in the wanderings of a day through the streets of Dublin.

See also  How to get rid of your real Christmas tree – can you throw it away?

The influence of the work: from Dámaso Alonso to Torrente Ballester

After multiple censorships, Joyce published Ulises in 1922 in Paris and without complexes dynamited the literary canon. He assigned each episode a writing technique connected with The odyssey of Homer. A big Bang chaotic whose zenith is the interior monologue that follows the thread of the characters’ thoughts (without punctuation marks in Molly Bloom’s famous ending). An unprecedented transgression that landed on a slow fire in Spain.

The Magazine of the West Ortega y Gasset collected in 1924 that something was moving in the literary universe following in the footsteps of the French press. The fascination with Joyce surrounded by mythology begins step by step: Dámaso Alonso translated secretly and under a pseudonym (Alfonso Donado) Portrait of the teenage artist being branded as “scandalous”. The demolition is also advancing: Antonio Machado affirmed that Joyce “was the representative of a finished novel. A rook’s song”, while Pío Baroja called it “dislocated, absurd, incomprehensible and crazy”.

“From then on it had to be written in another way, since It is a book that questions literature so far. It is no longer about writing a story that has a story, but about breaking it into a thousand pieces. It is a revolution similar to the one that occurred with abstract art that ends with figurative art”, explains the journalist and writer Carlos García Santa Cecilia, author of The reception of James Joyce in the Spanish press (1921-1976).

Documents RNE – James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’

During the war and the Franco regime, the work of James Joyce is swept off the map for being “obscene”. Social realism dominates the literature of the 1950s and Ulises it’s out of focus. Until Joyce fever breaks in the 70s. The writers Luis Martín Santos and Juan Goytisolo spearheaded this break with realism. The “joycean” is in fashion and three other high-ranking writers try to emulate the style with mixed results.

See also  Dominic Cummings: Boris Johnson's former top adviser claims Prime Minister lied to Parliament about banned parties | International

“Delibes tries it with a novel that breaks time and space, which is Woman in red on gray background. Cela tries to do weird things, puts on a blindfold and writes blindly. He doesn’t get it either. I think that the one who got very desperate but in the end succeeded, is a great author who manages to establish Joyce’s techniques. It is Gonzalo Torrente Ballester with the novel JB’s fugitive saga”, says the expert.

James Joyce bust in Dublin Getty

The very translation of the work constituted another odyssey. The first version in Spanish was published in 1945 in Buenos Aires by Jose Salas Subirats. Self-taught writer of self-help manuals and insurance agent, who tackled the turbulent prose of James Joyce out of a hobby. Again, magnetism.

Perhaps the most refined definition is that of Jorge Luis Borges, who also served as Joyce’s translator:
“At Ulises there are sentences, there are paragraphs, which are not inferior to the most illustrious of Shakespeare. If we had to save any modern novel, it should be Ulysses and Finnegans Wake”, he revered.

The Irish author’s reasons were somewhat more mocking. Joyce proposed to introduce as many puzzles in the text that would keep thinkers busy for centuries discussing it. Trust that he got it.

Related Posts

George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.