A while back, I found some illustrations that Alexandre Alexeiff had done for The Fall of the House of Usher. His grainy vision of Poe's tale exists within a nightmarish fog; Ram Rischmann's wood engravings for the 1947 French edition, on the other hand, portrays the story in sharper focus. It embodies a solemnity that anchors the story in the concrete. Whereas Alexeiff's illustrations transport us to a surreal abstraction of other worlds, Rischmann's keeps us firmly on our feet.

It's interesting to see how their interpretations of the story differ. It's also interesting to think about how powerful imagery can be - how the illustrations associated with a text can affect our own reading, and how drastically different those readings can be depending on the imagery we're presented with.



Post a Comment