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Ball, David M. "Chris Ware’s Failures." The Comics of Chris Ware. Drawing is a Way of Thinking. Eds. David M. Ball and Martha B. Kuhlman. Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2010. 45–61. 
Added by: joachim (7/22/10, 11:56 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (7/29/14, 2:22 PM)
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604734423.003.0004
BibTeX citation key: Ball2010
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Categories: General
Keywords: Literature, Metaisierung, Popular culture, Rhetoric, USA, Ware. Chris
Creators: Ball, Kuhlman
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi (Jackson)
Collection: The Comics of Chris Ware. Drawing is a Way of Thinking
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This chapter examines the persistent rhetoric of failure throughout Chris Ware’s comics, locating this impulse in a longer American literary genealogy that valorizes literary prestige over popularity. It argues that Ware’s self-abnegation becomes a cipher for his ambivalence about comics’ newly found role as literature, reviving anxieties around canon formation that have taken place in American literature since as early as the mid-nineteenth century. The chapter suggests that Ware uses the rhetoric of failure as a means to negotiate his attempts to place comics in the literary canon and to express his characteristic ambivalence toward the very notion of “graphic literature.” It also considers how he both evinces and performs a dialectic between artistry and commerce in his own role as author, and aligns the tension between mass market and high art within the comics medium to the rhetoric of success and failure, respectively.
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