Kinuko Craft (Left)
Kinuko used her own unique way to interpret “Goblin Market” by her illustrations. She explicitly relates the poem to sexuality and lust.
This illustration depicts Lizzie who struggles to resist temptation from the goblins. (Line 390-407) If we pay close attention then we will see that all the “fruits” presented in this picture have shapes of sexual organs. The goblins holding penis-like fruits pointing toward Lizzie as if they are trying to make Lizzie succumb to her sexual desire and give up her moral standards. We can also see other breast-like and vagina-like fruits in baskets and in some goblins’ hands which those all contribute to the artist’s interpretation of the poem as sexually oriented.
This illustration depicts the moment when Laura was enticed by the goblins and eventually give in to the temptation. (Line 126-139) Similar to the previous illustration, fruits are also illustrated with sexual implication. In addition to that, we can see more smiling faces here which indicates that there is no conflict of interest between Laura and the goblins after she succumbs to the temptation. We can also see Laura’s right hand grasping a goblin’s underwear, her left hand with a bitten fruit, and her ecstatic smile as implications of Laura’s willingness to participate in this feast. Moreover, the bottom right of the illustration is noticeably brighter than the top left of the illustration. This is an interpretation of line 139 of the poem, “And knew not was it night or day”.
This last illustration shows the moment after Lizzie comes back from the goblins and right before Laura’s rebirth. (Line 485-492) This again was done in an explicitly sexual way. It is hard to identify Laura’s facial expression in this illustration. She seems lifeless and exhausted. However, if we focus on the depiction of her body, we may be able to interpret her facial expression as if she’s enjoying herself. First, we see her left heel is off the ground. Second, her right hand is grasping hardly at Lizzie’s hip area which we can even see the skins are being squeezed. Third, Laura’s left hand is lifted in mid-air but not on her thigh with ease. All these three depictions are not signs of relaxation or lifelessness. But rather, they may imply that Laura is at the verge of sexual orgasm. The artist might had interpreted the cure to Laura’s life dwindling symptoms as sexual orgasm. This can also explain why Lizzie in this picture is in an ambiguous position. Perhaps, Lizzie seeks the goblins to find out what they did to Laura and then decided that letting Laura experience once more what she experienced might be able to cure her lifelessness.
The artist definitely showed her own unique way of interpreting “Goblin Market”. However, I believe she overemphasized the ambiguities in the poem. Certainly, there are several sexual implications in the poem, but Kinuko Craft had brought them to the next level.