In fact, as American as the comic book is, foreigners such as raging King Lear , or even suffering Job, have found their anguished words floating above their heads in white balloons. Climbing from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the Empire State Building, Joe and Sammy carve out vivid and surprising lives and careers. The purpose of comic book “classics” is obvious: The connection between Jewish artists and their comic book creations is frequently alluded to in the novel, as when Sam says, “What, they’re all Jewish, superheroes. Perhaps the most important influence on the novel’s conception of Jewish comic book artists in this period is the life and autobiographical comic book fiction of Will Eisner, an innovative early comic artist and, more recently, theorist and inventor of the graphic novel form.

It’s entertaining and enlightening but also distracting. Five and a half years later, I found myself with an plus page monster—to use Spalding Gray’s phrase, a monster in a box—and somehow or another, baseball, French cooking, eco-terrorism, the plan that some religious Jews have to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, and a lot of other things had all worked themselves into this thing. When Joe leaves to enlist in the navy, Rosa and Sammy find themselves both in vulnerable situations with only each other to look to for security. Anapol agrees to let them produce a sample issue, which leaves them in the position of having to come up with a hero to build their comic book around over a single weekend. In what is in some respects a classic Jewish immigrant narrative, Josef Kavalier, a teenage art student from Prague, travels to America and makes his way in this new world at the side of his American cousin and partner in comics, Sam Clay formerly Klayman of Brooklyn.

Joe finally agrees with Anapol to stop fighting Nazis. Always a stunning stylist, Chabon has come up with some of his most impressive prose yet in this book.


kavalier and clay essay topics

Yet they must also go about the daily business of work—and play. I just feel like I don’t know why I’m writing short stories. Whereas before the Golem was fully formed but nearly weightless, now it is but a heap of dust; yet it is heavy now, perhaps with the souls of the lost European Jews.

I support Indie pendent bookstores and hope you will too. Sammy and Bacon are guests at Love’s beach house.

Discussion Questions: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Milde is the adjutant at the German consulate in New York City. In trying to leave Czechoslovakia, Josef is sent back to Prague on a paperwork technicality. Bubbie dies peacefully in tpoics sleep at age ninety-six. Art Spiegelman has confronted the connotations of triviality often associated with both artists and fans of superhero esssy by popularizing an alternate term, “comix,” which stands for a “co-mix” of images and words.

As master of two worlds the supernatural and the humanJoe uses his million dollars to purchase the failing Empire Comics, enflamed by love of his character, the Escapist, and full of vigor for new work. Following the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel, Jews in Prague number about The number of people killed and how quickly they were killed was shocking. I had a very key experience early on in the writing of the book.

kavalier and clay essay topics

They are also raising a son—one who loves comics and skips school too often, despite his guardians’ best efforts. Or think of Gatsby, a soft-focus silhouette at dusk, staring out at the harbor with its flashing lights. The magic flight is Joe’s attempt to return, by degrees, to the life he once knew.

Chabon’s novel explores a major moral and aesthetic issue which is only partially addressed in the Holocaust fictions I have discussed thus far: Tommy sees Joe in Tannen’s back room. Comic topiics covers from the period are superheroes punching out U-boats, and tying anti-aircraft guns into knots.


Bacon is a pork product and therefore forbidden by kosher law. Sammy declares that they are going to be very successful with this superhero and Joe’s family will be freed with the money they make. The really well-paying, prestigious fields of commercial art, illustration, and advertising art were closed.

kavalier and clay essay topics

Readers can be forgiven for questioning why things are handled this way. Popular series include Chobits and Doraemon. It is both a superhero story and kavxlier Golem story, a “long and hallucinatory tale of a wayward, unnatural child, Josef Golem, that sacrificed itself to save and redeem the little lamplit world whose safety had been entrusted to it.

With Kornblum’s aid, Joe passes this threshold by finding the Golem and preparing it for their passage to Lithuania.

Overall, though, the essays did everything I require — they were entertaining, well written although a bit wordyand varied.

Tommy senses Joe’s dilemma, senses that he wants to return but has forgotten how. But it was trying, at every moment you remained on it, to kill you. What is the significance of the golem in this story and why is it so important to kavaleir this folklore tradition? More devastating is the guilt Sammy feels regarding his homosexuality.

the amazing adventures of kavalier & clay | Picky Girl: Discussions of film & fiction

He had escaped, in his life, from ropes, eseay, boxes, bags, and crates, from handcuffs and shackles, and regimes…. Consequently, the comic book, almost immediately upon its invention, or soon thereafter, began to languish, lacking purpose or distinction. Ebling decides he is a super-villain named the Saboteur and Joe is the Escapist.

Meanwhile, these days, so-called graphic novels like Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: