With Asterios Polyp, David Mazzucchelli is making a novel. But its not straightforward in this form, & not only for its graphic nature. Even in traditional written form, the charachters, especially Asterios, dont quite behave - nor are explained - in the depth that most charachters in modern novels are. In a sorta existential tale theres not a lot of Dosteovsky-ness, so to speak. Instead we get an old fashioned tale - part greek tragedy, part greek epic.
In a weird way in sorta felt to me like an old novel. To go even further it felt a bit like perhaps the first novel ever written - Don Quixote. Its probably a horrible comparison, but whatever, its my post I guess. I thought this for two reasons:
1. I thought Mazzuchelli was making fun of the traditional novel form the same way Cervantes was making fun of the chivalry tales prevalent at the time. The allusion to Hesse really started me on this, I think.
2. He's trying to make an original form of charachter. For me, almost the thesis of the novel was that scene where Hana is giving a sculpting lesson in which she states that a sculpter is transforming a finite space. I think thats how Mazz views a charachter - or perhaps people in real life - as a finite enitity floating within the infinite space of a finite book. Hell, even the narrator is a sorts doppelganger within Asterios' own mind.
He's putting down his own idea of a charachter in this abstract form of graphic just like how Cervates put down his rather new concept of charachter in a form never really done before - straight prose with consciousness.
Sporadic thoughts, sorry, but hopefully they relate to each other enough.