I know, I know… I said I would announce this two days ago… but better late than never, right?
The winner of the Matt Kish illustration at right is
…. drumroll, please….
Troy of troysworktable.blogspot.com!
Honestly, it was a tough call – there were so many interesting and original suggestions – including a few books that I had to look up, because I’d never heard of them, and some of my personal favorites (Wuthering Heights, I’m looking at you).
But Troy immediately won me over with the vivid images he pulled up from The Grapes of Wrath, and what more timely novel to illustrate in our current economic state of affairs?
If I choose a book to illustrate, it has to be John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Some of the imagery in this magnum opus novel rivals that of Melville. I can think of a myriad of images to portray. The spent Oklahoma soil. The dust cloud. The men that have merged with machine on the industrial farms. The thin men, women, and children wandering toward the promised land of California. The citrus orchards and the green fields. The caravans of jalopies. Violent punches. The wary glance during an encounter with a rival for a job or a claim. The broken bodies and their broken spirits. The hope that continues to shine in the midst of all the misery. The final tender scene, giving nourishment and life.
I think it’s scope and sweep across the American landscape is as large as Melville’s similar broad brush over the seven seas. Likewise, it’s examination of things as they are—and by contrast, what they could be—is as cutting as Melville’s political, religious, and cultural critique.
Congratulations! Hope the White Whale finds a great spot in your home!