Monday, December 17, 2012

Animated Shorts of Literature: Kafka, Dostoevsky, Dickinson

I've been very interested lately in the idea of how image and word come together in a single work. Mainly this has been a result of my fascination with graphic novels the last several months, but even online I am noticing a trend: a lot more animated versions of classics of literature. 

This version of Emily Dickinson's "I Started Early - Took My Dog," is a perfect example. It's a poem (not even that well-known of a poem, actually) but it's also an animated short and the animation both adds to and detracts from the poem. The animation is dreamlike, simple, not rooted in the fundamentals of the poem necessarily but allusive. 

The animation of Piotr Dumala
Then I came across this, an animated short (though this one is nearly 30 minutes long) of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment by Polish animator Piotr Dumala. It's creepy, dark and scary and lacks the intellectual rigour that the Dostoevsky novel contains (though that's not a bad thing: a novelist can do a lot of interesting things with intellectual rigour, but that's not something we expect from a "cartoon.")

Still others:

An animated version of Kafka's "A Country Doctor." (This one in Japanese which gives such an unusual flavour to Kafka).

Incidentally, Open Culture is amazing. I never fail to find something there which is fascinating.

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