Scott McCloud, who wrote Understanding Comics, is taking an unusual approach to the education of his two daughters. Over the next year, the family will be traveling the US doing talks and presentations, with the daughters taking an active role in speaking, doing research, and recording the talks in various formats. Here’s their travel blog on LJ. (via snarkmarket)
Salon nails the gist of Oblivion:
With his new story collection, David Foster Wallace has perfected a particularly subtle form of horror story — so subtle, in fact, that to judge from the book’s reviews, few of his readers even realize that’s what these stories are.
Exactly right. It’s Stephen King for the literary crowd. In many of the stories, there’s always something lurking off frame…the oblivion, as it were. Wallace knows, as does Scott McCloud, that what happens between the frames makes the narrative. Wallace never shows us the monster…the reader just gets glimpses of its shadow and is left with a feeling of unease. As opposed to the horror movies of today with their gore and choreographed multimedia frights, the seeming normalcy of Wallace’s stories set the reader up for a later sense of discomfort.
I was reading a piece by David Sedaris the other day and it contained a passage wherein something happened and a character in the story reacted to it, which is not unusual except that he somehow found space inbetween to write 2-3 additional sentences without interrupting the flow of the story. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud talks about this idea in the context of comics:
See that space between the panels? That’s what comics aficionados have named “The Gutter!” And despite its unceremonious title, the gutter plays host to much of the magic and mystery that are at the very heart of comics! Here in the limbo of the gutter, human imagination takes two separate images and transforms them into a single idea.
While McCloud relies on human imagination to fill in the gaps, Sedaris recognizes one of the endless numbers of gaps that may be filled in a prose narrative and does so great effect.