Art Book Hamlet project

I had an email today from Mary Heebner, a Santa Barbara artist who was kind enough to send me a link to her art book version of The Tragic History of Hamlet. Not just another "illustrated" version of the play, it is a true translation of Shakespeare's text into another mode of language entirely--a series of gorgeous dreamlike images created by a palimpsest of text, collage, and paint.

Though Heebner focuses primarily on the women in the play, I really love her interpretation of the character of Prince Hamlet as well--an androgynous sylph-like figure, often shown nude and half-shrouded in mist. This page shows one of my favorite speeches in the play, and the figure of the prince here reminds me of a scene early on in The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet, in which Horatio and Hamlet first meet on the banks of the Elbe river, in Wittenburg. The prince (having been bathing in the river, against the rules of the University) is nude, and the nearsighted Horatio at first mistakes his fair and slender figure for a woman.

Heebner has also done illustrations for a couple of bilingual editions of Pablo Neruda's poems, published through Harper (which is how she came to read an advance copy of my novel and contact me). Check her out!