This is in some ways an aside/ footnote to my last post about bibliographical studies. It was just getting too long (an odd thing for a Victorianist to be hesitant about).
As a visual minded student and teacher, thinking about how images translate, adapt, live on, and resonate is crucial to my understanding of and engagement in Adaptation Studies. How artists imagined the text is so influential... in the same way that I can't look at Ralph Fiennes and not imagine him hissing "Harrryyy Pottttter" (for better or worse. Probably for worse). Since I'm partial to the Ghost of Christmas Present, here is how he was portrayed in the two editions I talked about in my last post:
The later edition has him in color, of course. And there's probably much to be said about the minute differences... but the two illustrations are pretty similar. Here's how he looks in the graphic novel I read yesterday:
Thinking about him as a larger, more foreboding figure (the lines are deeper, he looms over Scrooge brandishing his horn like a saber) asks us as readers how we see this Ghost, how Scrooge sees this Ghost, perhaps even how Dickens wanted his audience to receive this Ghost. And this is just one small example... how we see Scrooge, the other ghosts, even Tiny Tim (who was far from Tiny in the 50s version and looked like he'd never missed a meal in his life), is both determined by our imaginations and by our experience with illustrations and adaptations. I'm excited to see how our minds and our conceptions of characters and moments will change as we continue to explore adaptations this month.