I know, I know! I can access The Philadelphia Inquirer [aka. “The Inky”] on the web, but I have a friend who sends me clippings from the hometown newspaper. I LOVE getting those thick envelopes stuffed with all kinds of minutiae – sports articles about the Phillies, the Flyers, the Eagles, obituaries for friends who have passed, book reviews, and articles about local writers. I never know what might fall out of the envelope.
This week, I received a clipping of a letter from the editor decrying the issuing of classic literature in the form of a graphic novel. Now, I am no fan of graphic novels, but I have no objection to anyone who wants to read them. I view them as another form of the media. I feel the same way about a comic book version of, say, Jane Eyre as I would about a remake of Casablanca with Brat Pitt and Angelina. They simply represent two different animals, masquerading as a classic, near perfect piece of art.
But reading the words exercises the imagination. Reading Homer’s Odyssey – which I have done too many times to count – allows me to form an image of “the man of twists and turns,” as well as the Cyclops, Circe and the nymph Kalypso. I would no more read a graphic novel or Jane Eyre (which I own), than watch the Brangelina version of Rick and Elsa’s epic love affair.
So, go ahead and read the graphic novel; I hope it will be a gateway to the real thing. Stretch you mind and your imagination. As the commercial says, “You’ll be glad you did!”