Friday, May 3, 2019

"Night of the Living Text"


I read this story when the English version was first published, and, well, I liked it. A lot, in fact. I'd go so far as to say that, after "The World to Come" and "Quandomai Island" (those sentimental favorites), it might actually be my favorite Casty story (I also like the much-feted "World of Tudor," but I find it's just a little too hard to fully suspend my disbelief). So there you go, but obviously, I didn't write anything about it. And...I haven't written anything about any Casty story, I see. Well, there's definitely a reason for that.

I remember when I was working on my PhD dissertation, I noticed something. It consisted of four chapters, the first two of which were about modern writers from the early part of the twentieth-century, and the latter two of which were about more contemporary writers, who were and are still alive. And what I noticed was that, for the former two, it was much easier for me to talk about themes or ideas that their books might embody, regardless of their intention. Whereas it was hard for me not to think about the latter two as being more...aware, let's say, of what they were doing, and thus perhaps less fertile ground for analysis. And I think this is really just a matter of them being more recent and therefore more difficult for me to historicize or put in their proper perspective.

And thus it is also for comics. I know I've written about a fair few contemporary stories here, but the balance of my entries is pretty heavily weighted towards classic material, and I think it's exactly for that reason. I just don't find I have as much to say about the average Rosa story, somehow (which in some instances hasn't stopped me, of course).

Anyway. That being my long-winded way of saying that I'm not entirely sure how much of interest I'll find to say about this one. But I shall give it my best!
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