Presentation on theme: "Postmodern Concepts at Work. Postmodernism Recap Postmodern fiction is characterized by: Questioning of technology/progress Identity as fragmented, fluid,"— Presentation transcript:
Postmodern Concepts at Work
Postmodernism Recap Postmodern fiction is characterized by: Questioning of technology/progress Identity as fragmented, fluid, ever-changing Metafictional moments Blending of high & low culture Hyperreality Intertextuality & hybridity The Po-Mo Page:
High & Low Culture The Sandman series is a postmodern work. Elements of high culture Mythology Poetry Shakespeare and other high literature The Bible Works of art are worked together in a comic book format, traditionally considered low culture.
John Keats To Autumn See handout for poem About change, inevitability of loss & mortality, but the inherent beauty that accompanies these things. Without the threat of its loss, what makes life worth living? The hope of redemption is what makes hell bearable in Season.
John Miltons Paradise Lost About both Lucifers fall from heaven as well as Adam & Eves loss of Paradise. Fall from the grace of God… that seems oddly familiar…
Patrick Nagel The artwork of Patrick Nagel was said to inspire the design of Desire, Dreams sister. See Episode 0 (especially pages 28-29).
Joel-Peter Witkin Bizarre & often grotesque photographs, frequently featuring those with physical deformities. The Merkin is based on Witkins photograph Amour (see page 107).
David Bowie At times, Lucifer looks like 70s era David Bowie. The cover page for both episodes 1 & 2 are recreations of photos of Bowie (pages 38 & 64).
Identity as fluid At work throughout the series. Mostly conveyed through illustration, but to different ends.
Continuum of identity Triple goddess Represent the 3 aspects of feminine identity (maiden, mother & crone). On pages 14-15, represent both the Graiae and the Fates. Treated as separate there, but same concept conveyed by Eve on 108, embodied in one person.
Ever-changing appearance Yes, can be attributed to different artists But, changes with the same artist as well. Shifts usually occur (at Gaimans direction) to Indicate a characters mood/state of mind Reflect how others wish to perceive them See pages 42, 45, 110, 198.
Fluid appearance, cont. Serves not only to make the characters Dream interacts with comfortable, but also informs reader and blends high/low culture. See pages , as each guest visits with Dream.
Odin/Norse myth Craggy rocks, grave and serious, shadowy, severe. Reflects Norse attitude; there was no art for arts sake, but generally ornamented objects of use.
Jemmy/Chaos Relatively plain on Dreams end (even in socks). The panels arent laid out in a terribly uniform manner. Much attention given to Jemmy and her shifts in size/perspective (Alice-esque).
Kilderkin/Order Organized, rational artwork & panels. Rectangles, straight lines (look at Dream in last panel). Color, shadows obey natural law.
Susano-O-No-Mikoto/Japanese myth Simple lines, very little or no shading. Reflects traditional Japanese art.
Bast/Egyptian myth Dream is more feline (though not completely a cat). Features more angular, cat-like eyes. Throne in last panel winged, represents Isis (goddess of creation & destruction). Common design for thrones of pharaohs (protection).
Azazel/Hell Very dark, shadowed. Dream is extremely haggard here. Focus on either isolation, pain, or both in each panel.
Identity & the concept of Hell Breschau, see pages Breschau identifies himself through his evil deeds; when no one is around to remember these deeds what do they mean?
Identity & Hell, cont. Hell on Earth (episode 4) We are always haunted by our past (our own & others). Ultimately, Hell is what you make it (Lucifers talk w/ Breschau, Paines quote on 139).
Why, Neil Gaiman? Why?! If we only identify ourselves through our deeds, and if, good or evil, they are ultimately irrelevant (as Lucifer says), what does this mean for anything we do? Why even bother… CHOICE! We can choose to torture ourselves over the merit of our deeds & whether we want to remain enslaved to the expectations of others. We can choose to be oppressed by our roles in life or liberate ourselves from them, á la Paine & Rowland or Lucifer. Identity is what you make it.
Works Cited & Consulted Cetiner-Oktem, Zuleyha. "The Sandman as Neomedieval Text." ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies. 4.1 (2008). Dept of English, University of Florida. 26 April Duffy, Brian. Aladdin Sane. 3 June Gaiman, Neil. The Sandman, Volume Four: Season of Mists. New York, NY: DC Comics, Nagel, Patrick. Unknown June The Po-Mo Page: Postmodern, Postmodernism, Postmodernity Georgetown University. 3 June Sanders, Joe, ed. The Sandman Papers. Seattle, WA: Fantographics Books, Sharkey, Rodney. "'Being' Decentered in Sandman: History, Dreams, Gender, and the 'Prince of Metaphor and Allusion'." ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies. 4.1 (2008). Dept of English, University of Florida. 26 April Smith, Clay. "Get Gaiman?: PolyMorpheus Perversity in Works by and about Neil Gaiman.". ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies. 4.1 (2008). Dept of English, University of Florida. 26 April To Autumn by John Keats, with original manuscripts image, an introduction and annotations. The Life and Works of John Keats ( ). 3 June Unknown Artist. Two Women in a Garden. 7 June Walsh, Richard. The Narrative Imagination across Media: Dreaming and Neil Gaimans Sandman. Modern Fiction Studies 52 (2006): ProjectMuse. Eastern Michigan U Lib., Ypsilanti, MI. 26 April /. Witkin, Joel-Peter. Amour. 3 June 2009.