Saturday, 24 November 2007

Depends on How You Look at It

In my review of The Book of Other People, I wrote about the tendency in literary circles to elide prose and comics. Stephen Abell, writing in The Times Literary Supplement, thinks they are both in thrall to moving pictures:

"The prevailing imaginative resource for the modern short-story writer is not literature, but film: A. L. Kennedy’s superb ‘Frank’ is set in a cinema; Daniel Clowes’s tiresome ‘Justin M. Damiano’, a graphic story (what he has called elsewhere a ‘narratoglyphic picto-assemblage’), is about a film critic; Thirlwell’s Nigora can also list her life in terms of ‘all the films which she had seen with her father’; and so on. Moments in characters’ lives are, therefore, described as if they were framed segments from a movie: ‘chemical flare-ups in the brain chemistry, arresting moving images (his analogy came from photographic film)’, as Zadie Smith puts it in her own story. The book can be seen as a sort of literary YouTube, a series of short, revealing clips of its characters."

The complete review is here.

The Spirit “Death by Television” by Darwyn Cooke with J Bone (finishes), Dave Stewart (colours), Jared Fletcher (letters), Ben Abernathy (editor), The Spirit issue 10, DC Comics, November 2007 (not from the book under discussion)

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