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Headwaters: Reading, Drawing and Finnegans Wake

Cahill, Clinton (2017) Headwaters: Reading, Drawing and Finnegans Wake. In: Book Practices and Textual Itineraries 5: Illustration and Intermedial Avenues. Book Practices & Textual Itineraries, 5 . PUN - Editions Universitaires De Lorraine. ISBN 2814303015

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Abstract

In the chapter Clinton describes reading Joyce’s novel as a visual and imaginative experience in a sense that goes beyond the conjuring up of mental images. Highlighting the importance of artistic practice in the exploration of the modes and functions of illustration, his analysis of mental processes and idiosyncratic work modes offers insights into the mind of the visual practitioner at work in response to literary text. His Analysis, informed by Barthes’ Le Plaisir du Texte, explores the connections between reading and dreaming. Clinton recounts his use of notational drawing as an investigative method and examines the text’s condition as material interface. He stresses the importance of the visual and auditory dimensions of the novel which lead to an assessment of drawing as a form of cross-medial interpretation. He develops ideas of bodily involvement with text, between the body of the work and that of the reader, and reading-through-drawing a site of resistance and pleasure. The chapter was developed from a paper given at ‘Literary Illustration Between Texts and Paintings’, Mulhouse-Strasbourg in February 2015.

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