Dave Astor: The Art of Putting Artists in Literature
Huffington Post - over 3 years
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how worthy are thousands of words about literary characters who draw pictures?
Yes, some fiction includes protagonists who are painters, cartoonists or other kinds of artists. It's a tricky proposition for authors, because the works artist characters create can only be described, not seen (unless the book is illustrated, or a graphic novel).
But there are advantages to having artists in literary roles. Those characters are of course creative, and they can also be quirky, bohemian, groundbreaking, pretentious, frustrated, low on money, etc. -- traits and situations that all have strong dramatic potential.
The idea for this post occurred to me while I recently read Don DeLillo's Underworld, an ambitious novel (about the second half of the 20th century) whose large cast of characters includes artist Klara Sax. Parenthood and other things make it hard for Klara to reach her full artistic potential until she becomes famous in her 70s
Huffington Post article