Holden, Philip: "“Is it manipulative? Sure. But that’s how you tell stories”. The graphic novel, metahistory and the artist in The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye." In: Journal of Postcolonial Writing 52.4 (2016), S. 510–523.
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BibTeX citation key: Holden2016
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Keywords: "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye", Liew. Sonny, Metaisierung, Postcolonialism, Singapore
Collection: Journal of Postcolonial Writing
Sonny Liew’s graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye has become a cause célèbre in contemporary Singapore. Much popular discussion of the novel has, however, been reductive, often describing it as simply presenting alternative histories in contrast to a hegemonic historical narrative celebrating Singapore’s rise as a developmental state. Close reading of the novel’s use of both graphic and textual elements reveals that The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye does not simply counterpoise other histories to a dominant national narrative, but rather asks questions about the historical memorialization of decolonization and storytelling in a postcolony such as Singapore. While the medium of comics provides Liew with an expanded toolbox of metafictional techniques, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye also celebrates the redemptive possibilities of narrative. In doing so, and through its status as a fictional biography, it also asks uncomfortable questions regarding the agency of the artist, and, by extension, the individual, in a society marked by postcolonial processes of neo-liberal subjectification, questions that resonate beyond the city state of Singapore itself.
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