After looking at Eko’s woodcuts in class, I was curious as to how some of his reoccurring thematic images were used in his other depictions of scenes from the book. As we noticed from the woodcut showing Don Quixote ‘losing his wits’ being too entrenched in his stories, his head and torso were depicted as one large hand. I was interested to see that this portrayal of him reappeared in contexts outside of the context of him reading inside his house. In the second and fourth images below, he is on a horse throwing a spear and locked in jail, but the iconography of the hand suggests that these are figments of his imagination or at least a further sign of his madness. The imagery of books is omnipresent – either placed somewhere in isolation within the scene or imbedded into other objects such as the face of the lion in the first woodcut or the body of the horse in the second.
I included the windmill woodcut that we looked at in class specifically because I hadn’t noticed at the time that it included books as well. The combination of the book and hand imagery (as well as the receding checkered floor which is not included in these woodcuts) suggest that Eko may have chosen to depict this story, in its entirety, as Don Quixote’s descent into madness – or at least, a consistent narrative of his mental state absorbed in the stories he reads.