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Hughes, Jennifer A. und Philip Nel: "Re-imagining America. Jeff Smith, Herman Melville, and national dreamscapes." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 4.1 (2013), S. 117–133.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Hughes2013
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Keywords: "Bone", "Moby Dick", Literatur, Melville. Herman, Smith. Jeff, USA
Creators: Hughes, Nel
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
A recurring gag in Jeff Smith’s acclaimed graphic novel series Bone (1991–2004) is that Moby-Dick (1851) is a snoozer. But, as we argue, Herman Melville's masterpiece puts other characters to sleep not because it is dull but because its most ardent advocate – protagonist Fone Bone himself – is a New Critic bent on divorcing the novel from the context in which it was created or might be read. By contrast, Bone’s frequent invocations of Moby-Dick (Smith’s favourite novel) recontextualize Melville, transforming the book from aesthetic artefact into a critical imagining of contemporary America. To borrow Henry Jenkins’s assessment of Ricardo Pitts-Wiley’s theatrical adaptation of Meville’s novel, Smith sees Melville ‘as part of a larger process of sampling and remixing stories and themes already in broader cultural circulation gives us a way to think about the poetics and politics of contemporary grassroots creativity’. The most successful example of the 1990s’ comics artists’ self-publishing movement, Bone samples and remixes high culture and low, the epic and the comic, allegory and adventure in order to transform both the nineteenth-century novel and the twentieth-century comic into a complex, contradictory meditation on power, nation, and citizenship in America at the millennium.
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