Sunday, May 27, 2012

B is for Bloom

Continuing the AlphaBooks project, another of my very favorite books: James Joyce's Ulysses. This passage is from Chapter 17, Ithaca. The entire chapter is in the form of a scholarly catechism. It's that sort of playful, inventive use of language that makes me so crazy about this book. You might say it's a grown-up version of Carroll's wordplay in Alice. Oh, I could go on & on about it, but if you've read it, you already know, & if you haven't, just read it & find out, okay? :-)

In this scene Bloom discovers that he has forgotten his key & decides to scale a fence to get into his house without waking his wife. I had to contort poor Bloom quite a bit to make him into an admittedly  wonky "B". But I imagine he had to contort himself too, to get over that railing!

Acrylic on text scanned from a 1961 Vintage edition, with a few Photoshopical interventions, ~8"x 8"

p.s My Bloom was loosely inspired by Joyce's own sketch.


  1. This series is stirring my imagination. I hope you will draw Tristram Shandy for the letter T!

    I love how you used a series of the letter B as the fence. That is so awesome. You know, that is very clever, people could really do that in real life if their last name starts with a B. I just love everything you do.

    By the way, I remember you illustrated a book that was published in New Zealand, I think it was NZ. That was the first time I found your blog and illustrations and was hooked. Is that book available in the US?

  2. Ohmy, this picture is just AWESOME. I love it.

    I never read Ulysses, I lent it from the library but wasn't in the right mood for it.

    Have a nice Sunday and a great new week.

  3. So fun & clever! Amazing work, as usual!!

  4. Thank you all! I had a blast doing it. I love that book so much!

    Ces, my NZ book is not out yet-- according to the publishers it will be available in October. It's called The Old Man & the Cat, by Anthony Holcroft. Believe me, I will be trumpeting from the hills when it's finally in print!!

  5. Like Ces said, I just love everything you do. You have magic.

  6. This is really wonderful, Leah—right up there with your Ulysses butterfly!

  7. I am REALLY loving your work! You are such a talent! Did you mention a book in the making? I´m gonna bookmark your blog, so I can come back again and again. :-)