Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stuck in the Middle

I dislike modern memoirs. They are generally written by people who have either entirely lost their memories, or have never done anything worth remembering. - Oscar Wilde

About a week or two ago I read a compilation of graphic stories titled Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age. It was described as memoirs from Middle School and while the stories and artwork were a mixed bag of styles and quality I ended up with the overall feeling expressed in the above quote by Mr. Wilde.

And the more I think about it the more I think that this kind of autobiographical art is not what art is about. It misses the point. Sure, a story can have autobiographical elements but the reader shouldn't know or need to know that to make the story work. The author/artist should be transparent. Possibly I mean inconsequential or irrelevant. And possibly I mean is, not should be. If it is just the author's story than I'm limited to seeing the truth of that individuals story. If it is a story that just happens to be told by someone then it opens up and I can see the truth of everyone's story. Or something like that.

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