Thorsten, Marie: "Graphic “Heart of Darkness”. Two Visions of Current Affairs Comics." In: International Political Sociology 6.3 (2012), S. 221–240.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Thorsten2012
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Keywords: "Heart of Darkness", Comics journalism, Conrad. Joseph, Literature, Postcolonialism, Sacco. Joe, Travelogue, USA
Collection: International Political Sociology
Edward Said’s praise of comics journalist Joe Sacco as a kind of “Marlow” (from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness) is an analogy that reminds us of the contextualization of current affairs graphic novels in other media. While scholars and laypeople alike have praised serious comics and animated works for their capacity to get readers interested in “the horror, the horror” (iconic words of Heart of Darkness), the failure of such works to “translate” across diverse reading publics attests to the imperfections of conveying traumatic stories with drawings and words. Said’s own earlier writing on Heart of Darkness helps to qualify his appraisal of Marlow‐like narrations of the forgotten peoples of the world. In Culture and Imperialism (1993), Said explains that author Conrad (through Marlow) ingeniously accomplishes the tragic exposition of European imperialism in “two visions.” First, Conrad acknowledges that his readers (Marlow’s “listeners”) are located “in a particular time and in a specific place,” and second, Conrad permits Marlow to use “arabesque meditations” of ideas, and alternating blunt and evasive language, to capture the unrelenting journey of European imperial mastery.
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