The graphic novel adaptation of Paul Auster’s City of Glass by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli illustrates each significance voice with a distinct font. The typewriter font is used for the narrator to indicate the final draft of the narrative as the typewriter is an instrument that once marks the page, cannot be erased. If one makes a mistake, the entire page is to be re-typed which communicates the quality of professionalism and officially of the narrator’s words. The typewriter font is used to convey the authenticity of the narrative and the authority the narrator has in the novel.
Peter Stillman Sr.’s words are embellished with a capital letter of a calligraphy style as he is a member of the upper class and well educated. The ornamental letter describes his profession as a former professor who is wealthy and was respected. The capital letter that begins his speech bubbles are written in this style as his words are carefully chosen as his is a professor concerned with languages, specifically the language of God. As a professor, Peter Stillman Sr.’s words are intellectual with a higher understanding od the words that he uses, in comparison with the layman and the capital letter indicates his knowledge.
Peter Stillman Jr.’s speech bubbles originate from within to represent that his thoughts and words are different from the other characters. There are lowercase letters in his speech as a result of the abuse and neglect that he had experienced as a child. The trauma from his father’s experiments has changed his speech patterns as the different font indicated that his language skills originate from an abnormal processing method.
Virginia Stillman’s voice on the phone is captioned with un-bolded and several lowercase letters. The lines of the words are also not straight as the telephone distorts the words of the speaker and do not truly reflect the voice of the caller. The lowercase letters indicate uncertainty of the legitimacy of her concern and the ability of the investigator that she is calling. The lower case letters and wavy composition of the works from her voice through the telephone communicates the process of sound waves converting to pressure in the air. The different frequencies of each sound are also depicted by the fluctuating appearance of Mrs. Stillman’s words.
A different font is used to signify the diverse characteristics of each character in the graphic novel adaptation of Paul Auster’s City of Glass for metaphorical and atheistic purposes.
The narrator seeks to be the voice of the city and follows the characters of Toni Morrison’s Jazz, to document their lives. In an attempt to provide the reader with an accurate account of their actions and characteristics, the narrator dismisses the possibility of being tainted lens. As each voice is created to further an agenda, this narrator is unable to provide an unbiased version of the story.
The narrator wishes to be the voice of the city by speaking and listening on behalf of it. As the city, the narrator is to address the city’s culture and roots. However, the city cannot be described by a single narrator as the city is experienced differently by each individual. The story that the city tells to each person is unique and as it stimulates its residents, each perception of the city created is significantly different. The voice of the city may be one that is the most generic version of the most common perception but the narrator is unable to speak in this voice. The ambiguity of the city resembles in the undefined narrator. By not identifying the narrator’s gender, race or age, one is free to determine the details of the narrator’s character. This opens the possibility for the reader to insert them into the novel. The narrator’s claim to be the voice of the city is a statement that limits the imagination of the readers as the setting is created as a character. Yet it also opens the possibility of an opportunity for the reader to create the city as the narrator.
The city itself would be the ideal narrator as an unbiased and all knowing character. One who could speak on behalf of every character and provide an accurate background of each character or location. The narrator as the voice of the city creates depth within the novel. The illusion of the city’s free spirit is created through the flow caused by the lack of punctuation and describes each street as composed of a symphony of sounds. As the narrator describes the city, it comes to life as a character but when s/he attempts to become the city, s/he fails to embrace its true essence. As the narrator is to convey the messages that the characters cannot verbally share, s/he inserts their opinion of the characters and actions. The narrator’s investment in the defense of the characters takes away from the effect of being the voice of the city. By becoming the city, the narrator hopes to tell the secrets of the characters but is unable to do so without their personal bias affecting their stories.
Historically, one’s possessions were depicted in oil paintings to display one’s riches as the paintings would entice potential spouses. Oil paints are used for they have the ability to create texture and communicate wealth. The medium of graffiti signifies rebellion as it began as a medium to make a statement against those in power. By defying laws and defacing properties of the wealthy messages are sent through the medium as well as the statement sprayed on the walls.
Graffiti or street artists? One label implies an illegal activity and the other legitimizes their work.
Graffiti artists deface public or private property with a tag, a practice that originates from teenagers without parental authority and with an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex. Tags that are carelessly thrown onto walls are often used by gangs to show their presence in the community and to define their territory. Is graffiti an illegal activity due to the oppressors in society censoring speech or is it because it is disrespecting property? Perhaps the disobedience to the law by spraying a message on the wall creates the negative connotation that is associated with it. As tags are used to promote gangs and further illegal activity, it may be the reason for the ban of them.
Street artists are often fed up with the system and are done waiting for approval of art critics create their own gallery through street art. There are two motives behind street art, one is to achieve individual fame and the other is to make a political statement. Either way, the images are of significance and depend on the audience’s interpretation. Street art is meant to create a dialogue between the artist, those who enjoy or despise the art and then there are others artists who respond. As walls are tagged, the artist is marking their territories and begin a conversation. Whether a symbol or a word is thrown onto the wall, another artist will respond with their own statement. As the original image provokes responses, the responses begin to provoke responses. Some may pass by without declaring their input in ink but those who do build an even more complex message. The bystander who admires the work may take a picture and distribute the image to others in honor of the artist. Those who do not enjoy the piece whether it be for legality issues or is irked by the image itself is included in the dialogue nonetheless.
The element of anonymity in graffiti or street art allows the artists to take on other personas. The potential risk of being arrested when doing what they love drives up the artists’ levels of endorphins. The satisfaction of seeing other’s appreciation for the piece for itself and not due to the artist’s brand would be an experience like no other. There is also an element of pride as one’s work is genuinely created for oneself and does not seek the approval of the critics or gallery executives. Street art is a means to make an anti-authoritarian statement and to gain personal satisfaction from bringing one’s art to the public without the politics that are associated with it.
As there are multiple ways to view art, Berger encourages one to look beneath the surface and images to study the material and connotations. Oil paintings indicate the hierarchy in a society of those who can afford the paint and the time of the artists. Graffiti paint is a medium that the oppressed choose to send a message as the cans of paint can be bought with mere pocket change. As there are multiple techniques required to spray an image, it is relatively quicker and easier in comparison to the textured portraits done with oil paint. The mediums themselves represent the class of where the messages originate.
Alex Heilner is one of the artists whose photos illustrate several stanzas of “The Ba. His photographs are of microbes that represent the internal and external environments that are common to the everyday norm. An analysis of Heilner’s photographs through the lens of a novel photographer will be completed in this blog.
The photograph titled “Transmission Helix” is the only one in its series that does not have the word “microbes” in its title. It is also an abnormality for the microbes are to be viewed as a whole, the microbes are assembled together to build a “Transmission Helix”. The other photographs are of microbes that individually look like other objects. However, the “Transmission Helix” neither mimics a 3-dimensional shape that spirals nor portrays communication. The subjects do appear to be two people dancing, both with their arms raised above their head and their feet are tapping together at the bottom of the photograph . The subject on the left’s side profile is portrayed and on the right, the subject is facing forwards. The microbes that construct this image resemble bones and muscle tissue. The microbes with black circles would be the bones and the other ones with a gradient tone would represent the muscles. In the stanza that accompanies “Transmission Helix”, speaks to Harry’s moods, specifically his violent ones. Harry’s moods are represented by the act of dance, the line “Harry has structure” is represented by the figure on the right’s straight lines. This photograph encompasses Sand on the left and Harry on the right. Sand is described as mimicking sand itself, as tiny particles, similar to the microbes.
The photograph “Manhattan Microbes” do resemble the New York Island but they also appear to be snakeheads. The black dot in the center of the head represents the pupil and the white ring would be the iris. The thinner end of the snake’s head could be its tongue. The snake illustrates the actions of both characters in this stanza as when Sand moves quickly and Harry as he watches those in Times Square. Sand is moving in a manner that mimics the snake as she is appearing to disappear as she Zaum Zoom in and Zoon Tzm out. Harry is the snake amongst the tall grass, which are represented by the skyscrapers in New York City.
“Airplane Microbes” suits the stanza that it is paired with as it describes Sand painting on the duck of an aircraft. The microbes photographs do resemble jets in the sky as they are contrasted by varying shades of blue. The microbes also appear to be syringes as the pointed end of the microbes would be the tip of the needle. The syringes would illustrate the virus that Harry mentions in this stanza. As viruses are mobile, the aircraft accurately represent them also due to them both symbolizing the potential of technological advances or discoveries. Accompanied by the potential for destruction of lives can be both improved and destroyed by either an aircraft or syringe.
The photograph of microbes with an orange contrast is titled “Helicopter Microbes” and illustrates the Sand who is described as “an infinite receiver and deceiver”. The microbes in this photograph do portray helicopters but they also have an “infinitely flexible” potential for interpretation. The helicopters represent the means of traveling to any location are they are not restricted by the necessity of a landing strip. The microbes can also be interoperated as lobsters with the thinner end would be the tail and the little appendages would be its legs. The microbes could also portray the long-necked herbivore, the Sauropod. There are a number of possibilities for this photograph to be interpreted which represents Sand’s ability to deceive.
The four photographs by Heliner are named in a manner that clearly states a shallow interpretation of the microbes in relation to Strickland’s stanzas. However, upon further analysis, they are deeply complex as many interpretations arise from these photographs.
The sets of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari are visually appealing and complex to compensate for the lack of sound in the film. The lighting was staged in a manner to highlight the actors in the frame, as a theater production would draw attention to the lead. The light sources within the frame would often emit from a lamp encased in a grid-like cage. The shadows cast from the light would mimic the bars of a prison. The windows of the asylum cause similar shadows to communicate that Cesare lacks freedom. The shadows within each frame contribute to the creation of the ominous and frightening tone of a horror film. The shadows are often used by Cesare as a camouflage mechanism which causes uncertainty to arise within the audience. The shadows of the actors are cast in a manner to appear to be much larger than the actor themselves. The encroaching manner that the shadows embody represent the ease of evil to overcome the characters.
The sets are constructed in a manner that portrays a theme of geometric shapes and lines. The walls are not built with 90 ̊ angles as they lean inwards, to cause the entire asylum to appear as a casket. The geometric shapes that decorate the sets represent the instability of Cesare. They also allude to the lack of political direction within the era and reflects the aura of a haunted house. The geometric motif is an abstract representation of the unknown future for Germany. Throughout the sets, there are multiple solid lines that are painted to add complexity and depth to the piece, also described is the numerous political routes for Germany. The sets of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari are built and staged in a manner that furthers the film as a work of art as well as a manifestation of the politics of the era.
In The Idiot, Dostoevsky communicates the moments before his execution, through Myshkin’s description of a scene for Adelaida to paint. He describes his surroundings in detail and becomes increasingly aware of the time that passes. He begins to regret the wasted moments in his life. Questions surrounding the possibility of being spared arises but the responsibility of living an intense life causes him to wish for death. As Dostoevsky waited for his death, he gradually wanted to be executed as his fear for being unable to live a satisfying life became too much to tolerate. Eventually the challenge drives him mad as he was saved.
I, like many, assume that I will die of old age or sickness, opposed to a violent death early on in my life. However, if my life does suddenly ends, I don’t think that I’ll experience Dostoevsky’s crisis during the time span between realizing that I am dying and the end. I’ve always thought that dying would result in personal relief. Perhaps the violent means that I would be subjected to, for the purpose of this blog, would not be desirable but I believe that the seconds before the end of my life, I would be at peace with both dying and the life that I’ve lived.
The Queen sentenced Snow-white to death because she was deemed the most beautiful in the land by the magic mirror. After the huntsman had failed to do so, the Queen then attempted to kill Snow-white three times. The third attempt was proven successful until the Princes servants “stumbled over a trees-stump, and with the shock the poisonous piece of apple which Snow-white and bitten off came out of her throat” (257), as they were carrying her towards the palace. Snow-white had soon regained consciousness and married the prince. The Queen was then invited to Snow-white’s wedding where she “was forced to put on the red-hot shoes, and dance until she dropped down dead” (258). Evidently, the Queen had attempted to murder Snow-white four times for a vain motive but each attempt was a quick death. Assuming that dancing in an burning medieval torture device would take longer than a few minutes.
The torture that Snow-white sentenced the Queen to, proves that she is more evil than the her. The Queen sought relatively painless means of killing, compared to the “red-hot shoes” (258) that she had experienced. Snow-white wanted the Queen to suffer an excruciating painful death, as a punishment of the four attempted murders of her life. However, Snow-white could have avoided coming into contact with the poisonous corset, comb and apple if she simply did not talk to the old woman, a stranger. Especially after her first experience with the corset, Snow-white should have learned to not interact with strangers. If she had learned so, the attempted murders of her life would have remained at one, opposed to escalating to four. Regardless of the threats to her life, the torture device was unnecessarily cruel.
“I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day” is a poem that describes the wait for the second coming of Christ. In the first line, Hopkins illustrates the heaviness of the darkness with the use of alliteration in “feel the fell” (1). The weight of the metaphorical shadows is repressive and constrictive. The darkness is the manifestation of a world without God. In the dark, the speaker is unable to see clearly as one is blind without the guidance of God. The “black hours” (2) that the speaker has wasted, denotes to the hours on Earth one spent stumbling. In the third line, the poet mentions the heart. Hopkins believes that the heart is the organ that can truly see. The heart saw where “you” went, referring to where the disappearance of the God in one’s life. The “light’s delay” (4) is an allusion to the second coming that has yet to come, mentioned in the book of Revelation. The light is a metaphor for both God and the second coming of Jesus, as the world is to be consumed by flames. The hours, years and life span mentioned in the sixth line expresses the unknown amount of time that one is waiting for their death to reunite with their God. The uncertainty of time also refers to the indefinite wait for all believers, until the second coming. Those who are “dearest [to] him”(8) will live in the heavens for eternity.
In the second stanza, the speaker expresses the pain of one who was not saved from the depths of Hell after the second coming. The “heartburn” (9) describes the pain and brokenness of one who was rejected at the Gates of Heaven. Had the speaker been subjected to the unfortunate fate, the bitterness would be defined by the speaker’s sadness (10). The “bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse” (11) is a line that is another example of alliteration. Line eleven illustrates the reason for the speaker’s fate in Hell, is not in his control as it is a curse. The curse also implies the negativity and doom one would be subjected to in Hell. The spirit of “a dull dough [is] sour” (12) and the mention of “selfyeast” refers to the lack of change made possible by oneself. “The lost” (13) are a reference to the souls that are trapped in Hell as their “scourge” (13) was cursed upon them. The speaker relates to the pain of the lost souls as the fear of one’s own fate approaches.
Rousseau describes the nascent man to be the most successful stage of human kind. He uses the metaphors of a machine and beast to define his ideal state of man. Similar to Hobbes’ Leviathan, who is both a machine and monster. The Leviathan is a machine whose actions are caused by the effects of the actions of the past. The monster that the Leviathan embodies is the sea creature who protects the citizens. The Leviathan is a mythical creature from the book of Job and can only be defeated by the Lord himself.
Rousseau’s nascent man is a machine whose actions are derived from the senses that protect and maintain one’s life (part 1, p15). The operations of the nascent man are automatic reactions to the environment to ensure one’s life. The nascent man acts in order to survive, taking mechanical actions. The beast within a man is manifested in the form of instinct. The actions taken are derived from one’s instinct, which ensures that the nascent man will eat, sleep and reproduce.
The machines of Hobbes and Rousseau explain the reactions of man to their surroundings. Hobbes’ machine functions due to cause and effect, explaining the lack of control one has as one’s fate is determined by past actions. Rousseau’s machine also lacks in the ability to make decisions for oneself as it fulfills one’s physical desires because of the subconscious need to survive. Hobbes and Rousseau describe man as a machine for their decisions are a result of forces beyond their control.
The Leviathan is a monster that protects the people in Hobbes’ ideal state. Similarly, Rousseau’s beast protects the life of the man. Both monsters describe a force that ensures the safety and lives of the people. The aspects of a machine and monster serve similar purposes in the Leviathan as well as the nascent man.
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes.jpg. Digital image. Wikipedia. N.p., 26 Feb. 2006. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
Published in 1651, the political writings of Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, was accompanied by the frontispiece by Abraham Bosse. The bottom half of the piece displays contrasting symbols of the balanced sovereign powers, the emblems on the left depict the monarch and on the right represent the church. In the centre is the Sovereign King that is composed of citizens who are looking towards the head. The art piece was inspired by the anamorphic art form which originates from the Renaissance. The 1600s was the Baroque era, elaborate, realistic and precise art work was deemed as beautiful. Baroque art is filled with dramatic shading and naturalistic landscapes, the frontispiece of Leviathan meets the requirements within the details, opposed to the image as a whole. There is an abundance of shading and preciseness but the piece displays each Baroque aspect with many images. The overwhelming complexity and intricacy does not represent the Baroque era.
The Sovereign King at the centre is not a realistic impression of the ideal king, due to the abstractness of the body The shading of the Sovereign King has caused the three dimensional effect to prove inconsistent, along with the proportionality of the hands to the head. To better depict the Sovereign King to symbolize protection of the state, with the ideals of secularism and ecclesiastical, the hands must be larger for they are present in the foreground. The landscape in front of the king is of skewed proportions and the city that is present, appears to be removed from the background. Thus creating an inaccurate scale between the countryside and city.
The symbols that represent the two sovereign powers embody the essence of Baroque the most for they are realistic and dramatically shaded. The iconic images of the crown and religion are accurately created, separately, they are of Baroque standards. Although the elements of the era are present, the frontispiece as a whole is not a perfect example of Baroque art.