Città di Vetro
22nd March, 2009, 11 a.m.
Inaugurazione della mostra di fumetti di Paul Karasik e David Mazzucchelli dall’omonimo romanzo di Paul Auster.
If you are interested in graphic novels, don’t miss this exhibition. I loved it. If you want to have a look at the graphic novel “City of Glass” (from New York Triology), I can lend it to you.
I found out that now there is a graphic adaptation of Timbuktu as well. I don’t have it, but I looked at it on the amazon.com website (http://www.amazon.com/Timbuktu-Paul-Auster/dp/0698400909/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1).
Look at the exhibit and listen to Paul Karasik’s comments. It’s a good chance for you to listen to a different American accent (different from Paul Auster’s, I mean).
“The evolving term graphic novel is not strictly defined, and is sometimes used, controversially, to imply subjective distinctions in artistic quality between graphic novels and other kinds of comics. It suggests a story that has a beginning, middle and end, as opposed to an ongoing series with continuing characters; one that is outside the genres commonly associated with comic books, and that deals with more mature themes. It is sometimes applied to works that fit this description even though they are serialized in traditional comic book format. The term is commonly used to disassociate works from the juvenile or humorous connotations of the terms comics and comic book, implying that the work is more serious, mature, or literary than traditional comics.” (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic_novel)
Some cartoonist are against the term “graphic novel”. I am no expert in this field. I can just invite you to visit (either physically or virtually) the exhibit. It is really worthwhile. City of Glass combines the language of literature with the language of cartoons, and this is no easy job at all. The world of cartoons is generally detached from reality. With City of Glass, the identity of the cartoon is somehow subverted, because you (as a reader) are pushed towards a perception of a reality that is not a common trait of cartoons. If you think about it, the same happens in the film “Sin City”: the sphere of cartoons intersects with the one of reality. So Paul Auster’s graphic novel somehow dragged the world of comics back into a symbolic dimension.
The story of coming up with the graphic novel is another story by Paul Auster: it took more than 20 years for the project to take off. Paul Auster was not originally interested in a story that could be visualized on a page. He was then persuaded to accept a graphic adaptation of his story, but he placed a veto: “Don’t add any words that were not in the novel. You can take out, but not add”. His wishes were respected. I loved reading both City of Glass and its graphic adaptation. I do not know which one I prefer more. I don’t want to choose!
Have you ever read a graphic novel? If so, did you like it? Why? What is appealing in the blending of literature and cartoons?
Is there a novel you think would suit the graphic novel genre? Why?