Molly Etta’s story “The Illuminator Leaves” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 16 June 2017.
This story has a couple of different points of origin:
The first one goes quite a ways back. I was a sophomore in college, getting interested in medieval texts and manuscript culture, and I thought I’d like to write something about a mute illuminator, who could only communicate through images. I imagined her as a kind of Scheherazade figure who would tantalize her audience with pictures instead of spoken stories. (For whatever reason, that initial version of the illuminator was also colorblind and tended to mix up red and green pigments.)
The second point of origin is more recent. I’ve been interested in Ovid’s Metamorphoses for a long, long time. Ovid often emphasizes the loss of voice that comes with various characters’ transformations, although their being represented in poetry seems in a sense to break their silence. So, that tension brought me back to this story I had started and almost forgotten years ago.
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