Review

From Heart of Darkness to Hemingway to Infinite Jest (The Graphic Canon #3)

canonAdapted from the Goodreads.com summary: 

Volume 3 brings to life the literature of the end of the 20th century and the start of the 21st from modernism to postmodernism. Robert Crumb’s rarely seen adaptation of Nausea captures Sartre’s existential dread. Dame Darcy illustrates Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece, Blood Meridian, universally considered one of the most brutal novels ever written and long regarded as unfilmable by Hollywood. Tara Seibel, the only female artist involved with the Harvey Pekar Project, turns in an exquisite series of illustrations for The Great Gatsby. And then there’s the moment we’ve been waiting for: the first graphic adaptation from Kurt Vonnegut’s masterwork, Slaughterhouse-Five. Among many other gems.


Commentary on classics, samples of great works and lovely art are the trademark of the  Graphic Canon series. Since the three volumes were worked on in tandem, they flow seamlessly. Volume 3 doesn’t disappoint, and presents a new perspective on the literature of the 21st century.

In my review of the first volume I commented on the fact that I enjoy reading these anthologies as they give me a taste and understanding of great literature from around the world without having to read them in their entirety. In my review of the second volume I talked about how one goes about deciding what gets included in the canon, how literature becomes famous, and censorship.

This volume included some lesser known works of famous authors which were nice to see included. It makes you wonder about what works become famous and why. There were even some that were written in high school. While I don’t think they should really be part the graphic canon seeing as they aren’t really part of the literary canon, they were really interesting to read.

I also noted how bleak and dismal the portrayal of the world was in the 21st century. The vast majority of the works included are about sex, drugs, poverty and violence. I much preferred the fantasy that suffused the earlier centuries. But, it was really cool to travel through history across the three volumes and watch new movements and styles emerge.

Recommended to lovers of graphic novels and classic literature.

 

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