Modernism and Historical Accuracy: Anti-Kitsch Strategies

  • Laurike in ’t Veld
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels book series (PSCGN)


This chapter investigates how graphic novels respond to critical debates around the limits of representing genocide by employing two crucial anti-kitsch strategies as a means to avoid the dangers of kitsch and excess. The first of these strategies is a modernist aesthetic that highlights the failures and crises around (not) witnessing and (not) fully comprehending the events by placing visual and verbal emphasis on the eyes of the victims and the notion of seeing. The second strategy can be found in the paratext, which is used to posit truth claims and straightforwardly anchor knowledge about the genocidal events. In particular, pre- and postfaces are used to comment on the graphic novel’s ability to present an appropriate and truthful representation of the events.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurike in ’t Veld
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Historical CultureErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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