Novosibirsk State University, Russia
The modern art of book illustration offers a wide field for scientific reflection. In particular, the explicit and implicit influence of Art Nouveau, which can be observed in works by such illustrators as Alan Lee, Charles Vess and many other less famous ones, sets us thinking again about the reasons of the topicality of the specific Art Nouveau approaches to illustration of fiction. In this case the matter concerns the illustration of a myth, an epic and a fairy tale — as a rule, illustrators visualize the chronotopes of Celtic and Scandinavian mythology, chivalric romance, European fairy tale. The direction developing most rapidly in this sphere today is the one which transforms the traditions of Art Nouveau under the influence of an artist on the borderline of Art Nouveau, Arthur Rackham. Such a reference point allows enriching the Art Nouveau priciple of hierarchical arrangement of figurative and non-figurative sections with the mixture of realism and grotesque, which helps Rackham’s illustrations to enjoy constant popularity. The assimilation of the Art Nouveau heritage through the prism of his work is determined by the two main paths of development of the fairy tale genre in the 20th century: work with a narrative (a myth; the creation of Tolkien’s consistent secondary reality can serve as an example) and work with metanarrative (creation of a fairy tale about a fairy tale, illustration of an illustration). In the framework of the first trend, which is usually connected with fantasy, the space of total animism is developed, where everything around the human is alive. The second path, which is connected rather with magic realism, is famous mostly thanks to the intermedial projects by Neil Gaiman. For example, in the comics called “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” the visualization of Gaiman’s scenario, which is in itself a dialogue with Shakespeare, becomes a dialogue between Charles Vess and Rackham as the author of the most famous illustrations to this text. Such dialogue becomes a part of the postmodern intermedial project, where techniques of illustrator’s work are emphasized up to self-irony.