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Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Mary Talbot, Bryan Talbot

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1291793,299 (3.76)32
Member:psutto
Title:Dotter of Her Father's Eyes
Authors:Mary Talbot
Other authors:Bryan Talbot
Info:Jonathan Cape (2012), Hardcover, 96 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:12 in 12 bonus

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Dotter of her father's eyes by Mary M. Talbot (2012)

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» See also 32 mentions

English (16)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
The question I found myself asking was: Why this format? It seemed to set limits on exploring the parallels and differences that the author wanted to illuminate between her own life story and that of Lucia Joyce. To me, the differences outweighed the parallels, but I also respect Mary Talbot's intense identification with Lucia. She perceives a relationship; it exists for her and has affected her life deeply. Mary's father was a Joycean scholar and a pretty typical man of his era (my father was exactly the same, just not Catholic) a textbook [Drama of the Gifted Child] type of father/professor. The mother, ineffective when not collaborating. Joyce supported Lucia's dancing until it began to threaten to be a career and then his sexism surfaced - very typical of that era -. His view of women as creatures of folly, mainly there to have sex with is the least appealing and weakest aspect of [Ulysses], but we can't all exceed our era in all respects. Nora is portrayed as worse than ineffective, actually a malign influence from the get-go. The stumbler for me too, was why Lucia didn't just pack up and leave? She had a career; she was in her twenties. I really cannot understand why she couldn't make the final break. There would have been nothing they could do to stop her. It's strange that she was so passionate about dancing but choked on leaving home. That's the kind of depth that is lacking, a discussion of that kind of thing. Ditto - Mary gets pregnant, marries, has babies but makes it through her PhD - but no depth there either. As we leave their childhoods in fact, the book races to be over and done with too quickly. But, I don't know much about graphic books and it seems to me the limitations of the form would make this inevitable. As an introduction to Lucia Joyce and as story to use to spark discussion in a classroom or even a book group, this book would be an excellent choice. ***1/2 ( )
  sibyx | Feb 7, 2015 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2303688.html

This remarkable graphic novel won the Costa Award for biography in 2012; but it's actually two biographies, the story of Lucia Joyce, daughter of James, and of Mary Talbot, daughter of a famous Joycean scholar, and how their family dynamics were jointly shaped by their fathers' application of the traditional principles in their personal lives which they eschewed in literature. Lucia's is the more tragic story, thwarted from a promising dancing career (briefly distracted by Samuel Beckett) and eventually hospitalised for many years before her death; Mary managed to find a life partner who eventually illustrated her story and Lucia's. It's very good. ( )
  nwhyte | Jun 9, 2014 |
"Dotter of Her Father's Eyes" weaves together the two biographies of author Mary Talbot and esteemed dancer Lucia Joyce. Talbot's father was a famous James Joyce scholar, and Lucia's father was James Joyce, which creates a parallel that draws their two stories together.

With only 88 pages, "Dotter of Her Father's Eyes" does not have space to delve into much depth on either of the women's lives. While what is there is interesting enough, and certainly well illustrated, much of the narrative relies on broad strokes that sweep over decades at a time. ( )
  jasonli | Nov 22, 2013 |
Not a review, just a couple of random points.

I did like the way Mary commented wryly on Bryan's drawings, pointing out that her mother would never have worn a frilly apron, or that one of Bryan's childhood books had been sneaked into a drawing of Mry's childhood books, and so on.

Oddly enough it seemed to me that the drawings of Mary's childhood were more reminiscent of Scott McCloud's Zot! than of Bryan's usual art style.

Life doesn't have a neat shape; although Lucia's story was reasonably rounded off, Mary's story seems to end in media res, but then her life's not actually over, or anything. I did feel that her section of story wasn't very "formed". ( )
  comixminx | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
gender politics is very much the powerful engine that hums beneath the bonnet of the dual narrative – or, more specifically, the opportunities (or lack thereof) offered to young women. ...This is a slim volume in relatively small dimensions, but it's a surprisingly dense narrative. It's a bit like the Tardis: much bigger on the inside.
 
Both narratives are elegantly done. Talbot has a keen eye for the revealing detail, an important skill if you are working in comics. She makes connections, but never labours them. ... their exquisite and moving book feels like a celebration, for all that there is so much sadness between its covers. It says: we have survived – and we still like each other so much, we have made this.
added by MaryTalbot | editGuardian, Rachel Cooke (Jan 27, 2012)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary M. Talbotprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Talbot, Bryanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Once upon a time
and long ago
a king and a queen
had a daughter.

Her name was
Marushka
or Lucia
or Lucy Mary
or Mary.
Dedication
To our granddotters: Tabitha and Madeline
First words
Once upon a time and long ago a king and a queen had a daughter.
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Part personal history, part biography, Dotter of Her Father''s Eyes contrasts two coming-of-age narratives: that of Lucia, the daughter of James Joyce, and that of author Mary Talbot, daughter of the eminent Joycean scholar James S. Atherton. Social expectations and gender politics, thwarted ambitions and personal tragedy are played out against two contrasting historical backgrounds, poignantly evoked by the atmospheric visual storytelling of award-winning graphic-novel pioneer Bryan Talbot.… (more)

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