Literary characters - as a police sketch!

You probably have a picture in your head of what certain literary characters look like. Artist Brian Joseph takes this one step further ... and here's where life collides with literature! Using law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of these characters, he comes up with some rather interesting results. 

The whole concept is rather novel but I had trouble finding books I had actually read. They also look a tad bit creepy to me ... it must be because they're in black and white, and look rather unreal. Or it those eyes? 



Emma Bovary, Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

She was pale all over, white as a sheet; the skin of her nose was drawn at the nostrils, her eyes looked at you vaguely. After discovering three grey hairs on her temples, she talked much of her old age…Her eyelids seemed chiseled expressly for her long amorous looks in which the pupil disappeared, while a strong inspiration expanded her delicate nostrils and raised the fleshy corner of her lips, shaded in the light by a little black down.

Humbert Humbert, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Gloomy good looks…Clean-cut jaw, muscular hand, deep sonorous voice…broad shoulder…I was, and still am, despite mes malheurs, an exceptionally handsome male; slow-moving, tall, with soft dark hair and a gloomy but all the more seductive cast of demeanor. Exceptional virility often reflects in the subject’s displayable features a sullen and congested something that pertains to what he has to conceal. And this was my case…But instead I am lanky, big-boned, wooly-chested Humbert Humbert, with thick black eyebrows…A cesspoolful of rotting monsters behind his slow boyish smile…aging ape eyes…Humbert’s face might twitch with neuralgia. 

Personally, I'd like to keep painting pictures in my head - these images don't seem to do justice to the powerful writing behind it all. For example, can the drawing below of Emma Bovary capture the spirit of beauty and boredom in an era of repression? And Humbert Humbert ... sorry, he doesn't look like an "exceptionally handsome male," nor does he exude "exceptional virility" to me. But maybe that's just me.

What do you think? Check out The Composites for more. And if your favourite character isn't there (yet ... apparently he has a long list), you can even suggest a character for him to sketch! 

{Via Nola. Character sketches from The Composites.}

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall