Posts Tagged ‘James Boswell’

Doing Justice to Crumb


Sunday, June 27, 2010

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Crumb's Boswell.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been disappointed by the critical response to Crumb’s Genesis book. It is not so much a matter that the book hasn’t won enough praise, but rather that the critics, with a handful of exceptions, haven’t had the intellectual resources to tackle the challenge presented by Crumb’s handling of the Bible. Ideally, the critics of the book should be well-versed in both comics and Biblical scholarship. Instead, we’ve had many reviews from critics who know about comics but not the Bible (most of the reviews, I’d say) and a few from scholars who are well-versed in the Bible but are clearly unfamiliar with the history and language of comics (Harold Bloom being the prime case). Robert Alter wrote one of the best reviews of the book, but even he was hampered by his inability to fully respond to visual storytelling, leading him to make the theoretically dubious argument that print is inherently more ambiguous than pictures.


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