Sunday, October 7, 2012

U is for Urquhart McVarish

This week's entry for AlphaBeasts stumped me at first-- not too many "U" characters out there, & I have a personal rule for this series that I'm only going to do books that I've read & enjoyed. But then I remembered Robertson Davies' The Rebel Angels, featuring the devious Urquhart McVarish, manuscript thief & all-around nasty schemer. The book is a dark take on academic life, part of a trilogy on themes of art, music & letters, religion, skepticism & tarot-reading, along with many other philosophical musings. I found it quite entertaining, although my favorite Davies novel remains Fifth Business.

In this scene Urky has stolen a manuscript by Rabelais & I tried to suggest the master's signature, very loosely based on a letter in which he signs his name in the Latin form, Rabelesus (obligingly including a "u"), but please don't try to make sense of my Latinoid scribbles otherwise! Also, I couldn't really remember Urky's physical description, so forgive me if I'm way off-- I just didn't have time to reread the whole book.

I did my best to make the whole figure (including ms.) form a certain letter, though... do "u" see it? ;-)

Acrylic on text scanned from a 1983 Penguin paperback.

1 comment:

  1. I really love the elegance and synchronicity of this piece!