January 12, 2009

More Current Reading

I'm also re-reading Watchmen, in anticipation of the movie which may (or may not) come out in March. I'm struck, reading it this time, at the level of symbolism and visual punning that goes on, and how it avoids becoming mannered -- an easy trap for anything that aspires to serious art, as Watchmen does. Not to mention the telling details that are casually strewn throughout the book: right now, I'm marveling over the fact that, at the climactic scene in Antarctica where Adrian Veidt sets his master plan into action, he is wearing his Ozymandias costume -- which he never wears elsewhere, except in flashbacks. Not only that, he's wearing his costume, but not his mask. Compare this to Rorschach and his belief that only when he's in costume is he his true self -- he calls his mask his "face" -- and you begin to understand the level of unspoken commentary that goes on constantly in Watchmen.

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