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    Adapting novel illustrations for the almanac: text/image relations in Chodowiecki’s illustrations for Rousseau’s 'Julie'

    Lewis, Ann (2024) Adapting novel illustrations for the almanac: text/image relations in Chodowiecki’s illustrations for Rousseau’s 'Julie'. In: Stokes-Aymes, S. and Wells-Lassagne, S. (eds.) Illustration, Adaptation, and Intermediality: New Cartographies. Palgrave Studies in Adaptation and Visual Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 69-94. ISBN 9783031321337.

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    Abstract

    This chapter focuses on Chodowiecki’s illustrations for Rousseau’s bestselling novel Julie, ou la Nouvelle Héloïse (1761), which appeared in the Genealogischer Calender auf das Jahr 1783 (the calendar of the Berlin Academy). These images with their captions provide rich material for analysing the complex relationship between illustration and adaptation at various levels. As is the case for all of the (many) series of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century illustrations for Julie, they visually transpose key moments from the epistolary novel, in a complex intermedial encounter (especially intricate since the novel itself already strongly evokes the tableau and the engraving through the use of textual description). Appearing twenty years after the novel’s first publication, and within a German, rather than French, context, the images produce a strikingly original interpretation of the novel, as critics have noted. However, Chodowiecki’s engravings, produced in tiny format for the almanac, were also unusual because the images and their captions were, in this context, viewed independently from the text of origin, unlike most of the other series of illustrations for the novel (these were usually bound opposite the relevant textual passages). Indeed, perhaps because of their tiny size, Chodowiecki’s illustrations are almost never found within editions of the novel. Furthermore, within the almanac, the images are viewed alongside each other (one after the other) rather than being dispersed through the pages of several volumes, generating a range of possible readings. Here, the images are no longer necessarily viewed as the illustration of specific episodes from the novel, but can also be seen as an independent ‘progress’, or as a series of almost autonomous ‘genre scenes’, in which the anchoring function of the captions tying the images to the novel itself becomes indeterminate. When considering illustration as a form of adaptation, the production and display of images in the almanac context opens up a number of questions about the (shifting) relationship between text and image which I explore in this chapter.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: Series ISSN 2634-629X. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2022 15:53
    Last Modified: 30 Jan 2024 18:01
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/49671

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