Thursday, November 8, 2007

Seamless - Graded Blog Entry

Melodramatic bullshit only makes me angry. I take no solace in depressed music, or "deep" writing. That aside, I'd like to talk about Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan and Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves (HOL). Despite the difference in their form and content (melodramatic comic vs non-conventional fictional novel), I can’t help but notice (like every one else has) the striking similarity between the two lie in their complex usage of the conceptualization of Time.

The use of Time in Jimmy Corrigan reminds me of an MMO I used to play. The world was massive but small at the same time because you could move from one area to the next seamlessly. Characters, events, battles all occurred simultaneously in a sort of collective conscious, placed only into context by individual conceptualizations of the occurrences. This concept of seamless movement applies directly to Jimmy Corrigan. In Lance’s blog, he argues that Jimmy Corrigan is not one story, claiming it involves the cyclicization of Time around the Corrigan family’s experience; Jimmy, his father, grandfather, and great Grandfather are a sort of collective protagonist. I agree with the idea of the collective protagonist, but I think Jimmy Corrigan IS one story and the use of Time seamlessly links the experiences of Jimmy and the other members of his family tree to tell the story of the collective protagonist. The transition from each members story to the next is placed into historical context by Ware’s juxtaposition of significant historical moments [Chicago exposition, Battle of Shiloh, The Fair (Hey Jimmy lets go Snipe hunt…LOL)] but the stream of consciousness that pervades the narrative makes it difficult to pinpoint and distinguish any of the Corrigan’s at a place in time. The classic moment when Jimmy is with his father, his grandfather, and Amy (a product of his great grandfather) is analogous to multiple sine waves intersecting and represents one of those rare moments where Time almost seems to exist as one moment.

The notion of Time, as presented in Jimmy Corrigan, can be linked to George Herriman’s famous comic series Krazy Kat. It is no surprise then that Chris Ware has the oldest, pristine collection of these comics, but Krazy Kats influence extends beyond Chris Ware’s fanaticism; Krazy Kats tradition also extends to “The Simpson’s” more violent integrated TV series “Itchy and Scratchy”. If you’ll recall the specific issue of Krazy Kat we looked at in class where at the center there was the unframed image of the clock; the clock represented the pervasive seamless concept of Time. Here in lies the link between Jimmy Corrigan and HOL.

On page xxi Johnny says “[…] the kind who makes Itchy and Scratchy look like Calvin and Hobbes.” I might have over complicated the link between Jimmy Corrigan and HOL but consider it an aphorism to my premise. HoL is a multi-layered (Editors --> Johnny Truant --> Zampano --> The Navidson Record) cluster-fuck of a narrative, encapsulating the non-existent film The Navidson Record. Truant’s experiences in discovering Zapano’s “reams and reams” of work are relayed to us in a sort of stream of consciousness similar to moments in Jimmy Corrigan, so as we are discovering things about Johnny Truant we are also discovering what is going on when Zampano was producing his blind(lol) documentary. This intermixing and overlapping of each individual experience produces the seamless notion of Time and its convergence. The German passage Lance refers to where Johnny’s experience with the text seams to overlap/converge with Zapano’s and Heidigger’s experience is analogous to the analogy in the second paragraph about the sine waves intersecting; the multiple realities converge.

4 comments:

Nik said...

Thank you for using the word clusterfuck. It really made my day.

Yomi said...

lol not a problem holmes. I'm mad i havn't used it up until today

LSack said...

Hm, I can see where you're coming from regarding the commentary on my blog. Interesting, and I think I'm persuaded.

Well fuckin' said.

Adam Johns said...

I actually had to read this about 3 times before I fully followed it. Sometimes that's a bad thing (when I just shrug my shoulders and hand out an F) but this is actually a complicated way of engaging with both texts.

What I'm dying for here is a more elaborate explanation of the whole sine wive thing. It's a stunning metaphor, which you imagine as working with both texts, but in the space which could have helped explain it, you end up going on an Itchy & Scratchy tangent (which adds little or nothing to what we've already talked about).

As a note, this post is one of the best examples this semester of someone really building off of another post, and by itself provides some justification for using a class blog instead of just having people write papers.