Skip to content
1981
Transitus: Illustration as Material Crossing Ground
  • ISSN: 2052-0204
  • E-ISSN:

Abstract

This article focuses on a rarely studied set of images: Redon’s album , published in 1896 (M 160-166) based on his friend and patron Philipon’s translation of Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s story (1859). Bulwer-Lytton was regarded as a significant writer in the 1830s and was a well-known ghost story that contributed to establishing some recurrent narrative strategies of Gothic literature. Odilon Redon (1840–1916) was an avid reader who believed in the power of reading to explore the imagination. While Redon claimed he was not influenced by literature, he mingled with many literary figures of his time and published series of drawings linked to Poe, Baudelaire and Flaubert’s texts. Redon developed strategies to ‘interpret’ texts, rather than traditionally illustrate them, such as condensed narrative or the selection of existing drawings. Rather than base his works on narratives, he often sought another type of connection between the image and text, what he called a ‘transmission’. Setting itself in opposition to Leeman’s claims in his 1994 book that Redon’s images for this project are ‘reductive, purely illustrative visuals’, this article aims to show that there are essential and complex connections between Bulwer-Lytton’s Gothic text, its reception in late-nineteenth-century France, and Redon’s artistic production and interest in the occult at the time. Using Genette’s notion of ‘hypertextuality’ the article argues that this set of images is an exploration of Gothic techniques and tropes, a ‘transmission’ of Redon’s curiosity for occult practices and imagery.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/jill_00065_1
2024-01-11
2024-06-20
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Bennett, Andrew and Nicholas, Royle (1999), An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory, London: Prentice Hall Europe.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bulwer-Lytton, Edward ([1859] 1897), The Haunted and the Haunters; or, the House and the Brain, Boston, MA: Little, Brown and company (digital edition).
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Danguy, Laurence (2012), ‘Mallarmé, Redon, Denis: À l’ombre des Noirs, les “Blancs” de Maurice Denis’, in P. Kaenel and D. K. Westerhoff, Neige blanc papier: Poésie et arts visuels à l’âge contemporain, Geneva: Metis Presses, pp. 4563.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Doyle, Susan, Grove, S. Jaleen and Sherman, Whitney (2019), History of Illustration, London and New York: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Druick, Douglas W. (1994), ‘In the public eye’, in D. W. Druick, G. Groom, F. Leeman, K. Sharp, M. Stevens, H. K. Stratis and P. K. Zegers (eds), Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840–1916, Chicago, IL: The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 12074.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Gamboni, Dario (2004), Potential Images: Ambiguity and Indeterminacy in Modern Art, London: Reaktion.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Gamboni, Dario (2011), The Brush and the Pen, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Genette, Gérard (1997), Palimpsest: Literature in the Second Degree, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Hamon, Philippe (2001), Imageries, littérature et image au XIXe siècle, Paris: Éditions José Corti.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Harvey, David Allen (2005), Beyond Enlightenment: Occultism and Politics in Modern France, DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Hauptman, Jody (2005), Beyond the Visible: The Art of Odilon Redon, New York: Museum of Modern Art.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Knight, Mark (2006), ‘“The Haunted and the Haunters”: Bulwer Lytton’s philosophical ghost story’, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, 28:3, pp. 24555.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Kramer, Hilton (1974), The Age of the Avant-Garde, London: Secker & Warburg.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Leeman, Fred (1994a), ‘Odilon Redon: The image and the text’, in D. W. Druick, G. Groom, F. Leeman, K. Sharp, M. Stevens, H. K. Stratis and P. K. Zegers (eds), Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840–1916, Chicago, IL: The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 17694.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Leeman, Fred (1994b), ‘Redon’s spiritualism and the rise of mysticism’, in D. W. Druick, G. Groom, F. Leeman, K. Sharp, M. Stevens, H. K. Stratis and P. K. Zegers (eds), Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840–1916, Chicago, IL: The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 21536.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Lloyd-Smith, Allan (2004), American Gothic Fiction: An Introduction, New York: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Miller, Asher Ethan (2004), ‘Literary and pictorial sources in the graphic work of Odilon Redon’, The Burlington Magazine, CXLVI: 1213, pp. 23442.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Natale, Simone (2011), ‘The medium on the stage: Trance and performance in nineteenth-century spiritualism’, Early Popular Visual Culture, 9:3, pp. 23955.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Pethes, Nicolas (2016), ‘Psychicones: Visual traces of the soul in late nineteenth-century fluidic photography’, Medical History, 60:3, pp. 32541.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Punter, David and Glennis, Byron (2013), The Gothic, Malden, MA: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Redon, Odilon (1882), A Edgar Poë, Paris: G. Fischbacker.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Redon, Odilon (1896), La Maison Hantée, Paris: Auguste Clot.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Redon, Odilon (1971), A soi-même (1867–1915), Paris: José Corti.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Redon, Odilon (1987), Lettres inédites d’Odilon Redon à Bonger, Jourdain, Viñes, Paris: Corti.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Redon, Odilon and Ary, Leblond (1923), Lettres: Publiées par sa famille avec une préf. de Marius-Ary Leblond, Paris: van Oest.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Redon, Odilon and Claire, Moran (2005), Odilon Redon: Ecrits, London: Modern Humanities Research Association.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Rem, Tore (2000), ‘Fictional exorcism? Parodies of the supernatural in Dickens’, The Dickensian, 96:1, pp. 1415.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Schuré, Edouard (1889), Les grands initiés; esquisse de l’histoire secrète des religions, Rama – Krishna – Hermès – Moise – Orphée – Phythagore – Platon – Jésus, Paris: Perrin.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Sharp, Kevin (1994), ‘Redon and the marketplace before 1900’, in D. W. Druick, G. Groom, F. Leeman, K. Sharp, M. Stevens, H. K. Stratis and P. K. Zegers (eds), Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840–1916, Chicago, IL: The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 23756.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Sitzia, Emilie (2012), Art in Literature, Literature in Art in 19th Century France, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Sitzia, Emilie (2016), ‘Imag(e)ining Poe: The visual reception of Poe in France from Manet to Redon’, in S. Aymes, N. Collé, B. Friant-Kessler, M. Latham and M. Leroy (eds), Illustration and Intermedial Avenues, Nancy: Presses universitaires de Nancy and Editions Universitaires de Lorraine, pp. 13145.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Stead, Evanghélia (2012), La Chair du livre: matérialité, imaginaire et poétique du livre fin de-siècle, Paris: PU Paris-Sorbonne.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Stevens, Maryanne (1994), ‘The transformation of the symbolist aesthetic’, in D. W. Druick, G. Groom, F. Leeman, K. Sharp, M. Stevens, H. K. Stratis and P. K. Zegers (eds), Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840–1916, Chicago, IL: The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 196214.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Sutherland, John (1988), The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction, London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Wolff, Robert Lee (1971), Strange Stories and Other Explorations in Victorian Fiction, Boston, MA: Gambit.
    [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1386/jill_00065_1
Loading
/content/journals/10.1386/jill_00065_1
Loading

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error