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Manis, Karl. "Sounds of the Contemporary: Listening to the present in richard mcguire’s here." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction (2022): 1–16. 
Added by: joachim (2/2/23, 6:14 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (11/25/23, 11:20 AM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/00111619.2022.2138738
BibTeX citation key: Manis2022
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Here", Intermediality, McGuire. Richard, Onomatopoeia, Sequentiality, USA
Creators: Manis
Collection: Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction
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This essay suggests that the sounds in Richard McGuire’s graphic novel Here provide a readerly experience of the challenges of the contemporary. The difficulties of talking about the present – especially amidst literary inquiry’s pressure to periodize – often emerge from the contemporary’s immersive qualities and its constant propensity to change. While images can seem to extract or freeze historical moments, sounds keep these moments moving; they establish resonances and dissonances that undermine the stability of a singular present. Comics, unlike moving picture arts like films or videogames, require readers to extrapolate temporal rhythm, pace, and duration, and this constructive act is crucial to a contemporary that is immersive and always in formation. Here’s visual collage of three billion years of history invokes the representational allure of images; by reading it with an ear for sound, I argue that the sonic disrupts the temporality of its images and installs a sense of the liveliness and density of the contemporary. In effect, close listening to silent texts provides a way of grappling with the elusiveness of “now,” and a sonic vocabulary can help articulate how recent literary texts conceive of a multi-layered, ever-changing present that defies the privilege of critical distance.
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