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Cole, Jean Lee. "Rising from the Gutter: Rudolph Block, the Comic Strip, and the Ghetto Fiction of Bruno Lessing." Melus 41.(2016): 27–54. 
Added by: joachim (1/17/23, 4:52 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (1/17/23, 4:57 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1093/melus/mlw013
BibTeX citation key: Cole2016
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Categories: General
Keywords: Block. Rudolph, Comic strip, Ethnicity, Lessing. Bruno, Publishing, USA
Creators: Cole
Collection: Melus
Views: 5/330
Between 1905 and 1920, Rudolph Block, under the pseudonym Bruno Lessing, published nearly one hundred stories, nearly all set in New York’s Lower East Side, in William Randolph Hearst’s Cosmopolitan Magazine. Readers of these humorous stories had little idea that their author also edited the “funny pages” they devoured every Sunday in Hearst’s New York Journal; nor did they know that Block helped develop the multi-panel, half-page format that became standard within ten years of the comic strip’s first appearance. As editor, Block regularized his comic artists’ use of multiple panels, repetitive storylines, and caricature, in large part because the comic supplement was translated into both German-language and English-language versions for a multi-ethnic, working-class audience. The comic supplement demonstrates how the turn-of-the century newspaper press translated its content for multiple audiences and used dialect to both highlight and bridge ethnic difference. In his fiction, Lessing translated the multi-ethnic culture of the Lower East Side for a mainstream, English-speaking audience. As both editor and writer, he recognized the power of caricature and dialect, not only in their power to mark people as ethnic or alien but also as sites of negotiation and play—opportunities to display identity in multiple and shifting forms.
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