Abstract

This essay explores the connection between contemporary fiction and contemporary graphic narrative by examining how two novels—E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime (1975) and Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000)—share the concerns (both formal and thematic) of graphic narrative: namely, an abiding interest in the narrativization of history. Both novels, works of historical fiction that are about the rise of popular, visual media in the twentieth-century, suggest the political value of popular forms that are innovative and yet widely accessible, and thus give us a way to think about the import and invention of graphic narrative.

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