Knockabout have re-published Hunt Emerson’s brilliant version of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner now back in print.
First published in 2007, it’s a wonderful adaptation of the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. In it, a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage stops a man who is on his way to a wedding ceremony and begins to narrate a story.
The wedding-guest’s reaction turns from bemusement to impatience to fear to fascination as the mariner’s story progresses…
Hunt skill fully renders the great narrative poem rendered into comic strip form, and crams his version with some humorous moments.
The Times Higher Educational Supplement described Hunt’s adaptation as “the best production of its kind to date,” while the Slings and Arrows web site notes that “in his introduction Gilbert Shelton, a man who knows, notes that Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem on which this book is based is lacking in humour, yet raises our spirits by explaining how Hunt Emerson more than makes up for it.
“Emerson takes the text and then extemporises wildly around it in the manner of a master jazz musician, sticking to the text, yet adding tone and colour. It’s perhaps going too far to suggest he brings out the hilarity that’s always lain within, but he certainly exacts just revenge on behalf of anyone who’s had to spend a term studying Coleridge’s opium-induced horrors… This should be the version distributed to English classes…”
“Sight gags abound, depicting Coleridge’s descriptions with an askew and inventive way such as ‘ice mast high came floating by’ illustrated as giant ice creams bobbing about in the sea,” noted Lew Stringer when the book was re-released back in 2008. “I could go on, but dry text such as this doesn’t do such scenes justice. Better to buy the book and enjoy it for yourself as each page is a delight.”
The book includes the complete original poem with Coleridge’s notes.
• Buy The Rime of the Ancient Mariner from Amazon (Affiliate Link)
• Hunt Emerson Official Site: largecow.com
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