Friday, September 17, 2004

Testing the limits: Writing for The Christian Science Monitor, Abe Novick considers the line between tragedy and satire, focusing on Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers:

"Well, not every reviewer has approved. Newsweek liked it, but Time didn't. The magazine's reviewer said that, 'When Spiegelman compares Osama bin Laden to Ignatz, the cheeky brick-throwing mouse from [cartoonist] George Herriman's Krazy Kat, the mind recoils in dismay.' How come? Does the analogous satire go too far?

"Admittedly, the narrative is not as strong as in Maus. But 'too far' would seem to imply 'off-limits.' So Auschwitz is not off-limits for Spiegelman, but the World Trade Center is?

"At a time when networks constantly unveil new 'reality shows' that invariably end up looking more like Fantasy Island, looking through the lens of what is clearly unreality is refreshing. Maybe even closer to reality."