Thursday, September 19, 2019
The Genius of Klassik Komix :: Klassik Komix Essays
The Genius of Klassik Komix In "Klassik Komix" Steven Millhauser uses the well-known poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Elliot, to create an intermediary between complex poetic prose and the simplicity of the classic comic book. He uses descriptive language to beautifully capture the importance a writer's medium in the literary interpretation of his/her work while also demonstrating his love for the imagination. The original form of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is a poem, made up of poetic prose. Prose can vary in lexical makeup, which is decided by the writer, but usually consists of descriptions of subjects that allude to, and are analogous of, the underlying thoughts of the writer. This gives the lines a sense of vague beauty that allows the reader to interpret meanings in his/her own mind in contrast to simply spelling out the meanings. Poetry has the ability to evoke upon the reader a sense of reflection and deep thought in an effort to understand the message that the writer is delivering. The classic comic book is a polar opposite of the complex nature of poetry. The comic book is designed for the younger reader and possesses a simplistic nature that allows the creator to use visual media combined with short written dialog to tell a story. The pictures in a comic book are an integral part of the makeup of a comic book. The pictures allow the creator to portray the protagonist and antagonist in a way that is common to all readers. This however inhibits the use of imagination by the reader. The pictures are all an artist's interpretations of the actions and settings that make up each scene. When a person reads descriptive text with no pictures, it allows the reader to build a mental picture of each scene that is unique to his/her own personality. The comic book does not allow for this expressiveness in its prefabricated structure. Millhauser elegantly combines these two literary vehicles in his work "Klassik Komix" in a way that simplifies the form but still allows the reader to use his/her mind to draw its own pictures. "In the room women come and go / Talking of Michelangelo"(stanza 3).