I am reading Comics by Joe Sacco, "Palestine" and "Safe Area Gorazde". I like reading Manga and French comics, so I wasn't sure wether I'd like comics with journalistic ambitions. Well, I was wrong. What touched me in particular, is that the author is part of the story, the comics is the story of how he goes and finds people to interview, how he loves the food refugees give them, feels a bit bad about it, dislikes the mud, tries to argue with some, is ashamed to ask for details, and does it "for the comic" -- and you start thinking, how true! -- after all, you bought it because of that! And suddenly the identification with Sacco, the wandering comic journalist, the listener to atrocious stories, grows stronger with every page. Somehow the comic involves you in the psychological circumstances of Sacco, something a documentary rarely achieves.
Edward W. Said wrote the foreword to the Palestine comic. I got introduced to him a few weeks earlier with a collection of essays by Said entitled "Reflections on Exile". His prose is dense and all I cannot read too much of it in one go. He likes Joseph Conrad, and I really enjoyed Conrad's "Hear of Darkness" when I read it at school back when I was about 19 years old. That book inspired the excellent "Apocalypse Now" movie. The same oppressive feeling, the impending doom, and inevitable madness, loss of meaning, loss of all purpose, and at the end of a long voyage up the jungle, farther and farther away from civilization as we know it, to a place where a man with a vision, a madman with a *vision*, controls everybody's life. Anyway, back to Said. What he notes in himself ascribes to Exile, I often found within myself as well, but I ascribed it to my frequent travels as a kid.
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