Little Nate-o in Chabon Land

Thoughts on teaching The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, at three-quarters of the way through:

  • As friend and fellow CSSF Writers Workshop alumnus Mark Silcox put it “I don’t think there’s another writer alive one could learn more from about style.”
  • My students are really interested in how much of the book is a piece of corrective history, addressing contemporary misconceptions about the U.S.’s reluctance to confront Nazism, about the history of comic books and their (often financially cheated) artists, about the life of gay men in the 1940s and 50s.
  • My fingers are sore from typing Wikipedia searches to see which people referred to are real and which are fictional (although maybe some of it’s still due to Ragtime last week.)
  • Is the part on page 297 where the unattributed dialogue between Joe and Sammy gets mixed up a tribute to “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” which famously does the same thing?  Or is it just a typo?  It happens literally two lines after a reference to Hemingway.
  • I have a life where showing Will Eisner and Jim Steranko art on an overhead projector is part of what I do for a living.
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