JESUS RUIZ MANTILLA
Eduardo Arroyo, who died last Sunday at age 81, left a series of duties for his family, friends and closest collaborators. Among them, its editor in Galaxia Gutenberg, Joan Tarrida. Above the table has one of the longest projects in the artist's life: the publication of the Ulises,by James Joyce, illustrated.
The multifaceted brook, restless and voracious, could forge a perfect synthesis in its facet of illustrator. First of all, as a child, before being an aspiring sports reporter, writer, painter, sculptor or set designer, he was a reader. Hence, throughout his life he explored the symbiosis of being inspired by the pages of what he was most passionate about to draw them.
With the Bible, "a very topical book," he said, marked a marathon. He enriched it with 200 images that returned him from heaven to earth in the eyes of an impenitent atheist. He also wanted to go into The human comedy, de Balzac and collaborated with several works of his friend Juan Goytisolo. With the Ulises He had his debt pending. He did it but could not publish it in life because Joyce's heirs denied the rights. Some of them were edited with a text by writer Julián Ríos. But the initial idea had to wait for the obstacles to be free and in universal domain from 2012. The bad thing was that there was an exception not negligible: Spain, where the limit extends 10 years more.
Even so, and not to wait so long, Tarrida has reached an agreement with the New Yorker New Press to publish them in English at the beginning of 2019 before they accompany their edition in Spanish in 2021. It was in July of this year and the editor finished it of signing last week in Berlin.
Arroyo knew this in life and worked extensively with Tarrida on the project until the end of his days at his home in Madrid. In fact, he sent him the 320 illustrations and verified how his visions of the characters in the novel that changed literature, such as Leopold and Molly Bloom or Stephen Dedalus, as well as the aureolas of Odysseus or Telemachus guarded by hundreds of cats in the corners of Dublin.
The literary plot in the work of Arroyo is inexhaustible, as well as the endless interpretations and readings of Joyce's work. He wanted to explore that alloy as an essence of his work. In his paintings he unravels myth and symbolism without rest. So he entered into Faust, Don Juan, Carmen, who intertwine with the worlds of Joyce, Balzac, Beckett, Cervantes, Blanco White in a permanent artistic and literary communion whose epilogue will be his Ulises illustrated, a dream fulfilled posthumously.