August 4, 2008

What couldn't otherwise be said

In a previous post, I expressed an opinion about how the graphic novel medium allows writers to approach tough topics without getting maudlin and over-sentimental.

I just now noted that Edward Said says similar things (and more) in a preface to Joe Sacco's graphic novel, Palestine:
Comics provided one with a directness of approach (the attractively and literarly overstated combination of pictures and words) that seemed unassailably true on the one hand, and marvelously close, impinging, familiar on the other. In ways that I still find fascinating to decode, comics in their relentless foregrounding - far more, say, than film cartoons or funnies, seemed to say what couldn't otherwise be said, perhaps what wasn't permitted to be said or imagined, defying the ordinary processes of thought, which are policed, shaped and re-shaped by all sorts of pedagogical as well as ideological pressures.
The graphic novel, Palestine, is "about his experiences in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in December 1991 and January 1992. Sacco gives a portrayal which emphasizes the history and plight of the Palestinian people, as a group and as individuals."

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