Anne Carson & Rosanna Bruno's The Trojan Women: a comic
The Trojan Women: a comic is a wildly imaginative collaboration between the visual artist Rosanna Bruno and the poet and classicist Anne Carson. It follows the fates of Hekabe, Andromache and Kassandra after Troy has been sacked and all its men killed.Both wacky and devastating, the book gives a genuine representation of how human beings are affected by warfare. All the characters take the form of animals (except Kassandra, whose mind is in another world).
Anne Carson collaborated with artist Bianca Stone on their Sophokles reimagining, Antigonick (Bloodaxe Books, 2012), winner of the 2012 Criticos Prize. For this hardback edition, Bianca Stone created drawings on separate translucent vellum pages to overlay the text. This new collaboration with Rosanna Bruno is very different - it's a large-format paperback in traditional comic-book style.
The Trojan Women: a comic is published on 25 May by Bloodaxe Books in the UK and by New Directions in the USA. It will be launched at McNally's Boookshop in New York at 7pm on 27 May. A film of the event is below.
FEATURE REVIEW COVERAGE
The Guardian, Saturday 15 May 2021
Rosanna Bruno and Anne Carson’s The Trojan Women: a comic was reviewed in Fiona Sampson’s best recent poetry round-up in The Guardian of 15 May. It was illustrated online with a detail from this book.
‘… it’s a joy to come across a mistress of the art taking rumbustious pleasure in revisiting the matter of poetry itself. Anne Carson’s new version of Euripides’ The Trojan Women (Bloodaxe), with artist and cartoonist Rosanna Bruno, is resolutely subtitled A Comic; and a graphic novel is exactly what it is. But of course the words are Carson’s. Simultaneously straight-talking and experimental, the Canadian has been reclaiming the classical tradition as an essential resource since the 1980s.’ - Fiona Sampson, The Guardian
Read the full review here.
Times Literary Supplement, Friday 21 May 2021
A double-page feature review of Rosanna Bruno and Anne Carson’s The Trojan Women: a comic is included in the Times Literary Supplement’s classics special of 21 May. Edith Hall, Professor in the Classics Department at King’s College London, was the reviewer. She was sceptical at first, thinking that the comic book format was ‘provocative and risky’, but Carson and Bruno won her round. Her piece was illustrated in print and online with a detail from book.
‘Carson and Bruno have risen to an unusual challenge. Their medium’s conventions could have flattened distinctive literary qualities, but their book instead refocuses our attention on Euripides’ styles. The format highlights this play’s outstanding quality, praised by Sidney as ‘sweet violence’. That phrase was borrowed by Terry Eagleton to entitle his own book on the tragic (2002), in which he said that tragedy can only survive as a twenty-first-century art form if it is metaphysically open, aesthetically beautiful and unflinching in its depiction of suffering. All three criteria are fulfilled by this innovative version of Trojan Women.’ – Edith Hall, Times Literary Supplement
Available in full by subscription. Read here.
NEW YORK LAUNCH EVENT
Anne Carson and Rosanna Bruno read from The Trojan Women and discussed their new comic-book version of Euripides’ tragedy with bookseller Ryan Cook in this online launch event organised by New York’s McNally Jackson Books on 27 May.
Anne Carson was at home in Ann Arbor, Rosanna Bruno in her studio in Saratoga Springs, and Ryan Cook at home in Brooklyn. They read two sections from the book and talked about how they worked on their collaboration, with pages from the book shared as they discussed their visual and translation choices.
[14 May 2021]