Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X


Novels come to life in the reader’s imagination where word and image go hand in hand. An intriguing type of novel is the one that displays visual images in the text. This type, however, constitutes a minority in recent literary history, as literature is of course primarily a verbal art. Traditionally, the pictures are believed to work against the reader’s narrative imagination. It is said that the process of imagination is fed precisely by the absence of direct visual material. However, in the second half of the twentieth century examples can be found in Dutch literature of ‘pictorial novels’ in which the pictures do not obstruct the reading process, but add another dimension to the text. Those novels, in which the integration of pictures seems to function as a literary technique, make up the subject of this article. It examines the function and meaning of pictures in two Dutch novels: Gerrit Krol, Het gemillimeterde hoofd (1967) and Rudy Kousbroek, Vincent en het geheim van zijn vaders lichaam (1981). Furthermore, the analysis of the novels presented in this article, shows that pictures have a specific function in the novel and that they can play an important role in the story on several levels.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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