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AnnaP's picture

Evolving narrative forms

I agree with mgz24 that in some ways stories do have limits; we see the same archetypes and plot structures come up over and over again, even as the form varies. But I find the idea that there are “multiple stories for a certain plot line” compelling because it opens up possibilities even as there seem to be limits.
Lately, I have gotten really interested in new ways of telling stories, in particularly with comics and graphic novels. As mgz24 points out, I think they are a way of stepping out of the box and of taking plotlines that we already know and rehashing them in dynamic new ways. Like film, comics are another medium that Richard Powers mentions to tell stories when the Thief says “The best comics must be better than any print-only book. It kind of follows: pictures plus words gives you more to work with than just words alone” (p. 89). Russell counters him with the question “What about interiority? Complex levels of concealed thought?” but I would argue that graphic novels definitely do include what is below the surface, even if their medium makes them seem somehow more oriented with aesthetics. (Due to the way he plays with language and plot, I think that Powers would probably agree.)
I am really interested in how graphic novels take certain storylines and archetypes and recreate them in a way that people clearly find very compelling, and I would be interested to hear what others have to say if they, like me, appreciate this medium.


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