A US blogger has come up with a, erm, novel way to help us visualise what various characters from famous fiction look like. But can you match the faces with the descriptions?
So who is who? Answers at the bottom? Photograph: Brian Joseph Davis
All fiction is a work of the imagination. We read the same words but everyone has their own picture of what the characters look like. My Lady Chatterley is not your Lady Chatterley. Nor is either of ours DH Lawrence’s. So where do we get our images from and how do we create them? Do we bend the text to make it fit familiar figures that are knocking around in our subconscious? Or does the power of the description create something unique? And what about those characters we also encounter in film? If you were to read Casino Royale now, would you have Daniel Craig in mind? Or Sean Connery? Or, if you’re weird, George Lazenby?
US blogger Brian Joseph Davis, co-founder of the website Joyland, has come up with a fresh approach. Working from the author’s descriptions, he has used law-enforcement composite software to create photofit images. Can you match them to their descriptions?
Humbert Humbert (Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov)
“Gloomy good looks … Clean-cut jaw, muscular hand, deep sonorous voice … broad shoulder … I was, and still am, despite mes malheurs, an exceptionally handsome male.”
Emma Bovary (Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert)
“She was pale all over, white as a sheet; the skin of her nose was drawn at the nostrils, her eyes looked at you vaguely … Her eyelids seemed chiseled expressly for her long amorous looks in which the pupil disappeared.”
Keith Talent (London Fields by Martin Amis)
“Keith didn’t look like a murderer … Keith looked like a murderer’s dog, eager familiar of ripper or body snatcher or gravestalker. His eyes held a strange radiance – for a moment it reminded you of health, health hidden or sleeping or otherwise mysteriously absent.”
Tess (Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy)
“She was a fine and handsome girl – not handsomer than some others, possibly – but her mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes added eloquence to colour and shape …”
Answers: 1) Keith Talent; 2) Emma Bovary; 3) Humbert Humbert 4) Tess