The Text and the Reader: An Impossible Pursuit

Firstly, I must say that I am shocked to find that it is the end of the semester already. How time flies! Looking back on all of the texts we have studied, I can say that my appreciation for Victorian literature, as well as my capacity for analysis, has greatly grown. It seems the course is reaching a satisfying denouement as we now turn to A Christmas Carol once again.

The experience of reading the graphic novel certainly invokes palimpsest. It both expands upon and reflects the content of the original text. This story is quite remarkable in its ability to be reinterpreted again and again, each time invoking a different reaction. This only reinforced the ability of image and context to evolve the message of an original text.

We often discussed the collaboration of Victorian texts over the semester, and this Neo-Victorian graphic novel also adheres to this. Whereas in Victorian texts, the written word was reshaped through image and reader response, the Neo-Victorian graphic novel is even more so. As the labour of content creation, layout, pencilling, inking, and colouring are each delegated to specialists, the work becomes a large shared effort. As the graphic novel form relies upon visual images to express the story, colour comes to gain a much greater significance. Each stave has a corresponding mood expressed by the colour schemes. I don't think that the work of reinterpreting A Christmas Carol will ever be done. I don't think any work truly reaches an ending point of meaning regardless of how much literary criticism it is exposed to. The work of the literary mind is akin to that of a philosophical mind: they reach towards an ideal of understanding fully aware that it is a neverending task. Regardless of its impossibility, it remains an admirable pursuit.

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