My name is Thomas McNally and I am an Irish artist and illustrator. I am seeking funding for the publication of a book of illustrations based on the writing of James Joyce. The title of the book is 'The Ondt and the Gracehoper by James Joyce', and it will be published by Lilliput Press. Our goal is to have it published in time for the 110th anniversary of Bloomsday, which falls on the 16th June 2014. The only obstacle we face is the cost associated with producing a high quality book of colour illustrations, and so this is why we are here looking for your support.
The text of the book is taken from Joyce’s final novel, 'Finnegans Wake', and specifically his re-telling of Aesop’s ancient fable of ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’. Although Aesop’s fable has been illustrated many times over the centuries, Joyce’s peculiar take on it has never been illustrated before. Of all the scenes from Joyce’s works, this is the one that would be most fruitfully supplemented with illustrations. Each of my illustrations is based on a line from this scene and, when taken together, they help to chart and illuminate it.
This project is already at a very advanced stage: all of the illustrations (forty-five in total, each acrylic and ink on board) are completed, and Lilliput Press have been involved in the planning and design of the book from an early stage. Lilliput are a long-established publisher with an outstanding record of producing books of Irish interest for a domestic and international audience. One of their areas of special focus is Joyce publications, as exemplified in the Louis le Brocquy illustrated edition of Joyce’s 'Dubliners' (Lilliput, 2008), and Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon’s ground-breaking critically emended edition of 'Finnegans Wake' (Houyhnhnm Press, 2010, a sister imprint of Lilliput; this is now also the Penguin Classics edition, 2011).
Lilliput’s expertise and experience ensure that the quality of this publication will be of the highest professional standard. In addition to Joyce’s text and my illustrations, the book will also include a new essay on ‘The Ondt and the Gracehoper’ scene by Danis Rose, one of the world’s leading authorities on Joyce and 'Finnegans Wake'.
The ultimate purpose of the book is to offer readers a unique and much-needed entry-point into Joyce’s final novel, and to acquaint them with just some of the many layers of meaning that lie beyond its difficult surface.
In order to fully realise this project, we need your help. The funds raised will cover the costs of producing and type-setting/designing the book. If you would like to be a part of this publication, please make a pledge. In exchange, you will receive a signed copy of the book, a mention in the acknowledgments section of the book and – depending on your contribution – receive original artworks directly connected with this publication (see Rewards).
Thank you in advance for your support. For more information and updates, visit: