The function of myth in social cultures is explored by Mary Barnard in her the Mythmakers in which she investigates the origins of ritual in folklore, history, and metaphor.
In addressing such a wide scope of material, she came to the conclusion that the origins of many mythical personas/deities related to a single familiar theme: intoxication (4). Her discoveries became offshoots of CG Jung's definition of mythology:
Myths are original revelations of the pre-conscious psyche, involuntary statements about unconscious happenings, and anything but allegories of physical processes (32).
Highly visual conceptions, myths involve superheroes/heroines in out-sized feats that integrate the essence of a culture. They have intrigued listeners and audiences for eons -- comics have
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simply provided them with a modern iconographic dimension. Graphic Novels may well be a route back to the beginnings of our species. Personification is enthralling and begs the question: have dramatizations (or comics) influenced an ongoing mythology as much as the mythology has influenced the miming? Ambience is very strong in mythmaking and recounting.
The colors, out-sized shapes, and uproars of nature depicted in Graphic Novels attract the eye, entice the smell, and burgeon the ears with new sounds of electronic wonder -- intoxication of a sort!
Harold Augenbaum reminds us that what is included in the literary canon changes every few generations, not only in the works selected by institutions such as schools and universities, but the genres. Until the late nineteenth century, the novel was not considered Literature. Many universities did not consider any American literature worthy of higher education until after the Second World War, yet now it is essential. The Graphic Novel may be reaching the beginning stages of inclusion. Text implies image and image implies text, independent yet dependent on one another. Like white space...
The history and criticism of comics have yet to be written in any comprehensive form, but they are coming, evidenced by the panel discussion on the canon of comics conducted at New York University a few years back. With a comprehensive history, comics past, as well as its future, will change (Readingahead.com 2008).
Many educators believe that the comic book and Grapic Novels are experiencing a renaissance as they currently command bookstore aisles and Pulitzer Prize winners alike (Colorado.edu 2011).
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Certainly this writer agrees with Professor Randy Bass when he states that Art Spiegelman's Maus not only narrates the horrors of concentration camps located in Poland, but it also displays the enormous difficulties of second generation survivors to find a way to come to terms with the horrendous plight of their ancestors. Its graphical novel format plays an essential role in making the story come alive, as does the troubled relationship between Vladek and Art. Maus is not merely a narrative of the Holocaust; it is also a story of human suffering and struggle, not just after a staggering devastating experience like the concentration camps, but also afterwards, not just of one generation, but also of succeeding ones (Georgetown.edu. 2011).
Literary critics have embraced the notion of the performative as one that helps to characterize literary discourse. Theorists have long proclaimed that we must attend to what literary language does as much as to what it says. It brings to center stage a use of language previously considered marginal which helps us to conceive of literature as act or event (Culler 134). This bodes well for the Graphic Novel, an event that proffers full sensory inner intoxication for the futuristic viewer and offer, as well, insights and truths to be pondered.
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Aleixo, Paul, Buillon, Murry. Biological Psychology: an illustrated survival guide. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008.
Augenbaum, Harold. The Graphic Novel and the Literary Canon. Electronic Liter-
Barnard, Mary. The Mythmakers. Athens, Ohio: The Ohio University Press, 1996.
Bass, Randy. "American Literary Tradition." www.georgetown.edu, 2011.
Culler, Jonathan. Literary Theory. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, 1997.
Goulent, Ron. The Comic Reader's Companion. Oregon: Collection Press, 2000.
Jung, CG. And C. Kerenyi. Essays on a Science of Mythology. New York: RFC Hull
Publishing Company, 1949.
Kuskin, William. The Graphic Novel and Literary Criticism. Colorado: The Univer-sity of Colorado Press, 2008.
The problem occurred with the New York Times Book Review as well, criss-crossing the Fiction and the Non-Fiction Best Seller Lists (69). Spiegelman responded with a letter to the editor: 'if you list were divided into literature and non-literature, I could gracefully accept the compliment as intended, but to the extent that 'fiction' indicates a work isn't factual, I feel a bit queasy. As an author, I believe I might
Maus 1, Maus Art Speigelman's works Maus 1 and Maus 2 serve as an exploration of the father and son bond after an traumatic event, the Holocaust and how it influences relationships. These works act as a way to explore such stereotypes about Jews and the aftermath of the Holocaust especially exploring how it affects the next generation. Such a situation creates many dilemmas for the offspring of the survivors such as
Before they and their families are sent to Auschwitz, Art's father is a practical young businessman, who is set up with his own factory by his prosperous and generous father-in-law. Elie's father is less practical and more of a dreamer. He is a spiritual leader of his community before the Holocaust, and as such, he often seems more concerned about his community than even his family or himself. Art's father,
Art Spiegelman's Father Vladek and Vladek's Words in Maus -- Volume I: My Father Bleeds History (and does not crave cheese) The Jews, both Polish and German, are mice, the Nazis take the guise of cats, and the gentile Poles play a subsidiary role in the Holocaust narrative of Maus as pigs. In Art Spiegelman's graphic novel depicting his generations' reaction to the World War II suffering of Jews and
When it comes to Film Unfinished, this is certainly the case. The media of the film the Nazis used is the message that Hersonski is delivering the audience. It is the way propaganda film is created that is part of the story. Graphic novels use art to depict the "real" world. Just as a viewer does not mistake a Hollywood movie for reality, the viewer usually does not mistake a
4. Alexandre Gabriel Decamps Figure 8. Alexandre Gabriel Decamps' "The Monkey Painter," 1833. (Source: http://dalihouse.blogsome.com/2007/04/26/beasts-get-the-babes Figure 9. ( Source: http://www.artandpopularculture.com/Image:The_Experts%2C_1837_by_Alexandre-Gabriel_Decamps.jpg) Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps was an artist who often used animals portrayed as human beings to satirize society and especially the formal artistic community of the time. He was opposed to falsity and pretentions and the often biased views of the academic art coterie of the time was a subject of some of his works. This can be