Visiting speaker, 18 Nov 2014: Simon Grennan on adapting Anthony Trollope into graphic fiction

Simon Grennan (University of Chester) will be presenting his paper, ‘Dispossession: A New Graphic Adaptation of a Novel by Anthony Trollope’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 18 November 2014. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 0.36.

Click here to view a flyer for this talk.This paper will discuss Grennan’s 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. 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. 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. 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 existing styles, 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. From an analysis of Trollope’s style emerges the question of style in the adaptation, answers to which finalise its governing rules: how does Dispossession employ and/or depict equivocation in the style of its facture, distinct from the depiction of the plot? To answer this question, the paper will finally discuss the broader temporal implications of relationships between types of plot and drawing protocols, considering in detail examples of types of facture and storyboarding from 19th-century and 21st-century narrative drawing.

About the speaker
Click here to visit Simon Grennan's homepage.Dr Simon Grennan is a scholar in the field of visual narratology. He is co-editor, with Laurence Grove, of Transforming Anthony Trollope: ‘Dispossession’, Victorianism and 19th-Century Word and Image (Leuven University Press 2015) and contributor to Representing Multiculturalism in Comics and Graphic Novels (Routledge 2014), Visualising the Verbal: Graphic Novel Adaptations of Literary Classics, with Professor David Skilton (McFarland 2014) and Real Lives, Celebrity Stories: Narrative of Ordinary and Extraordinary People across Media (Intellect 2013). He is the creator of Dispossession, a graphic adaptation of a novel by Anthony Trollope (Jonathan Cape and Les Impressions Nouvelles 2015) and, since 1990, half of international artists team Grennan & Sperandio, producer of over forty comics and books ( Dr Grennan is Research Fellow in Fine Art at the University of Chester and Principal Investigator for the two-year research project Marie Duval Presents Ally Sloper: The Female Cartoonist and Popular Theatre in London 1869–85, funded by a £244,000 AHRC Research Grant: Early Career (2014).

Download a flyer for the talk (PDF).


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