• Dispossession: A Novel of Few Words

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Jonathan Cape (Vintage), 2015-09-01)
      A scholarly remediation of one of the later novels of Anthony Trollope.
    • Dispossession: Storyboard, Anaphora, Rhythm and Stage in a New Graphic Adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s 1878-79 Novel 'John Caldigate'.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (International Association of Word and Image Studies Conference, Dundee., 2014-03-01)
      IAWIS/AIERTI Conference Dundee 2014 Session Proposal: Dr Simon Grennan, University of Chester (simon.grennan@zen.co.uk) Individual Papers Panel Session Theme: Visual Literacies / Literary Visualities (in the Digital Age) Session Title: ‘Graphic adaptation and historic literary fiction: re/vision, remediation and discovery.’ Although comic strip adaptations of historic literary fiction are commonplace, in the great majority they have been historically motivated either by pedagogy or by hagiography. The pedagogic approach assumes that narrative drawing is more accessible to children than text. The hagiographic approach assumes that the source text is an original to which adaptations must aspire by overcoming the limits imposed by their own media Increasingly, a number of comic strip adaptations of historic fiction have appeared to interrogate the process of adaptation from literary text to narrative drawing itself, turning the adaptation process into a method of enquiry into some of the central issues of both remediation, narrative drawing and historiography: the relationships between specific texts and new images and concepts of authenticity, record and narrative voice relative to history. Such approaches to the adaptation of historic novels make visible the ways in which the process of adaptation itself engenders a fuller understanding of historic texts and their production. Frequently, they visibly manipulate the reading experience through techniques of juxtaposition, anachronism and visual revision, prompting reflections upon the impact of diverse media on the practice of history, for example: Marcel Broodthaers 1969 ‘Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hansard’, Dino Battaglia’s adaptations of Maupassant stories and Catherine Anyango’s 2010 ‘Heart of Darkness’. This session will aim to focus in detail upon a) both the technical processes of adaptation, or the ways in which new technologies inform the development of approaches to historic texts, and b) upon the conceptual strategies and rationales of adaptors. As a related topic, it will also hope to discuss current trends in the understanding of the roles of contemporaneous illustration in historic literary fiction. The session’s central questions and consequent call for papers will focus upon i) comic strip adaptation’s rationalisation of visual equivalents for literary narrative voices, ii) upon the influence of moving image conventions on storyboards, points of view, pace and information management and iii) upon conceptions of time revealed in contemporary adaptations of nineteenth century novels in particular. Confirmed individual presenters: Professor Jan Baetens (KU Leuven) Dr Simon Grennan (Chester University) Frederik Van Dam (KU Leuven) Expressions of interest in the call for individual session papers has been made by: Emeritus Professor David Skilton (Cardiff University) Peter Wilkins (Douglas College, Vancouver) Dr Ian Hague (Comics Forum) A further call for individual session papers will be made.
    • ‘Dispossession’: uses of encumbrance and constraint in visualising Trollope’s style, in a new graphic adaptation of his 1878-79 novel ‘John Caldigate'.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (KU Leuven, 2015-09-01)
      This paper will discuss my adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s John Caldigate (1878-79) as a new graphic novel, Dispossession and its French edition Courir deux lièvres. Trollope’s writing style formalises his approach to plot, succinctly tying style to genre. In the plot of John Caldigate, the narrator both consistently avoids making definitive statements about events and character traits and avoids presenting a definitive opinion. Although Trollope eschews visual description, the continual, rhythmic presentation of one opinion after another brings about a distinctive and relatively complex spaciotopia, in which the reader feels positioned relative to the diegesis. In retinoscopic terms, this could be described simply as a spaciotopia produced by continually repeating a limited number of changes in point of view. From an analysis of Trollope’s writing style emerges the question of style in the drawn adaptation, answers to which finalise the governing constraints of its drawing style: how does Dispossession employ and/or depict equivocation in the style of its facture, distinct from the depiction of the plot? More simply, the changes made to Trollope’s plot in the adaptation emerged according to principles extrapolated from the habits of contemporary readers. The paper will explore how important plot elements or absences, significant for Trollope’s readers in the 1870s, required alteration or transformation, in order to maintain or heighten the meaning of the plot for 21st century readers: the elision of characters, changes to names, the legal process of restitution after miscarriages of justice, the significance of a straw hat and, most visibly, the presentation of new aboriginal Australian characters and the use of the Wiradjuri language. Citing both positive and critical media reviews of Courir deux lièvres from earlier this year, the paper will finally suggest that these approaches to word/image adaptation in the context of markets for graphic novels in English and French negotiate existing terrain for understanding Trollope, by bringing new habits of reading to an experience of his work and to ideas of the nineteenth century.
    • Drawing Style, Genre and the Destabilization of Register in a Graphic Adaptation of Trollope’s 1878 Novel John Caldigate

      Grennan, Simon; Skilton, David; University of Chester, University of Cardiff (McFarland, 2015-02-01)
      A chapter in the edited collection "Drawn from the Classics: Essays on Graphic Adaptations of Literary Works."
    • The New Map of Barset

      Williamson, Michael; Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
      A comprehensive map of the County of Barsetshire, based on Anthony Trollope’s original sketch plan (1860) but incorporating all the references contained within the Barchester and Palliser Series of novels and other references within Trollope’s works.
    • The facture of ‘Dispossession’: trace, colour, light and time in a new graphic adaptation of Trollope’s 1879 novel ‘John Caldigate’.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Comics and Adaptation Conference, University of Leicester., 2015-04-01)
      This paper will discuss my forthcoming adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s John Caldigate (1878) as a new graphic novel, Dispossession. Produced in the context of an academic conference on Trollope in 2015, the new graphic novel functions as a research outcome in the sense that its academic audience is a ‘knowing one’, to use Linda Hutcheon’s term (Hutcheon 2006:122). This audience will both expect to read the graphic novel as the product of a self-aware relationship with Trollope’s novel and make demands upon the new graphic novel that derive from its members’ own, particularly focused, experience of Trollope’s novel itself. As a result, the process of making the adaptation has distilled questions about the act of novel/comic adaptation itself that have enabled the emergence of a methodology for the adaptation process and aimed to produce the new book as a comprehensible response. Two questions have guided the adaptation: 1) What results if the existing generic constraints of graphic novels are self-consciously reformed in the process of adaptation, and the protocol for the new book derives from an analysis of Trollope’s text relative to the behaviours of its time and ours? And 2) How can Dispossession employ and/or depict equivocation in the style of its facture, distinct from the depiction of the plot? Following Walter Benjamin’s theorisation of translation, the process of creating Dispossession approaches Trollope’s text as the source of a protocol or set of governing rules, including an apprehension of the reading behaviours of his contemporaries and of contemporary graphic novel readers (Benjamin 1969:70). As a result, the relationship between novel and graphic novel constitutes both the process and product of adaptation as an experience for a knowing reader. This paper will summarise the rationalisation of methods of facture in response to the guiding questions. In particular, it will consider the ways in which specific historic depictive regimes represent specific diegetic meteorologies, and how these are associated with both historic periods and particular places. In terms of drawing style, the challenge for this adaptation lies not only in identifying the existing different behaviours of novels and graphic novels, but in meaningfully producing a new style of drawing relative to an existing writing style. It is not the task of comparing an existing style of drawing with Trollope’s writing style, but one demanding the speculative creation of new rules within which to draw. As Dispossession also has a research function, the process of meaningfully inventing a new style also demands comprehensive rationalisation. I will discuss how Trollope’s writing style formalises his approach to plot, tying style to genre. In the plot, the narrator both consistently avoids making definitive statements about events and character traits and avoids presenting a definitive opinion. Instead, information is derived from a number of different, and sometimes contradictory, sources and accumulates gradually. Trollope utilises this technique with great consistency. From an analysis of Trollope’s style emerges the question of style in the facture of the adaptation, answers to which finalise its rules of facture: how does Dispossession employ and/or depict equivocation in its facture, distinct from the depiction of the plot? To answer this question, the paper will discuss the broader temporal implications of relationships between types of plot and drawing regimes, considering in detail differences in anaphoras, special locations and discursive traditions using examples of types of facture from 19th century and 21st century narrative drawing.
    • Transforming Anthony Trollope: 'Dispossession', Victorianism and 19th-century Word and Image

      Grennan, Simon; Grove, Laurence; University of Chester, University of Glasgow (Leuven University Press, 2015-05-01)
      An edited collection of eleven chapters. Introduction attached.