Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hamlet in Images

Shakespeare is enacted in many different ways: traditionally as stage production, but also adapted for movies, novels, and other media. But, in Dorothy Stewart's 1949 book, Hamlet, we have a production of Shakespeare as image and text. Stewart "condensed" the play and paired its text with stark woodcut images to tell the story.  Revolutionary for its time, the book more closely resembles a graphic novel than the text of a play.

Can a book be a performance? It appears so. The woodcut characters act out their parts, hold up scrolls, spiral into nightmares or sink, drowned, just under the water. After reading Stewart's production, you feel you have seen Hamlet, or at least a version of it.

To see it, just ask for Rauner Presses P588s.

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