Reimagining literary (anti)heroes

Impressive gender-bending illustrations of literary heroes by uvkitsune. Bright colours, simple shapes, hip looks – finger-drawn in a mobile app!

Have you ever read a book and felt like you could absolutely identify yourself with one of the characters, only to be later reminded that you shouldn’t have, because, perhaps, you are a girl and the person is a boy, or vice versa? Gender is a drag, yet the society keeps on cherishing the gender role matrix like the holy grail. If you’re this, you can’t do this – but what if we flipped it all around?

uvkitsune, hailing from the Czech Republic, reimagined her favourite literary (anti)heroes. The neat drawings, made of smooth lines and bold colours, drawn by uvkitsune’s finger in an Android app, are hiding complex character traits of the individuals from the books precious to her, as well as presenting a poignant comment on the lack of representation in the mainstream culture.

“I’m that type of a passionate, almost fatalist literature consumer. I have a number of books which resonate deeply within me and have almost become a part of my psyche. That’s why I was so pissed off that one time in high school when I discussed The Catcher in the Rye with this guy; and he expressed his strong feelings of identification with Holden Caulfield and I was like ‘Yeah! I know, right?’ and he just looked at me with this sort of how-would-you-know-you’re-a-girl look. That got me thinking: Would a “girl Holden” be different, then? One thing’s for sure – no, not even literary characters are defined by their gender.”

Alex from A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Jean des Esseintes from A rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans

Tsukuru Tazaki from Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

by Haruki Murakami

Josef K. from The Trial by Franz Kafka

uvkitsune – Portfolio, Instagram
Text + Edit: Anna Wim