Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Marvel Thinks on the Scale of Marcel Proust

As a kid my interest in comic books pretty much evaporated when I discovered Mad Magazine (particularly after I read some of the Mad parodies of what used to be my favorite comics). However, as an undergraduate I had my first encounter with Marvel Comics. It seemed as if they were getting more hip as Mad began its decline; and, while my grasp of narrative theory was still many decades to come, I realized that the series was doing things with storytelling that I had not previously encountered. When Marvel first decided to venture into film, I was curious but skeptical; but many of the early efforts succeeded in hooking me.

Marvel is now a presence that cannot be ignored. So I was not surprised to read in a story filed yesterday on the BBC Newsbeat Web site that Marvel had announces its release schedule for films extending into 2019. This led me to think about past writing projects that were planned out and then realized over a significant duration of time. The most ambitious literary narrative would have to be Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time, which first began to take shape in 1909 and only concluded with the publication of the seventh volume, Finding Time Again, in 1927. Bearing in mind a recent effort to present James Joyce's Ulysses as a graphic novel, I suspect that Proust is probably not yet ready for the Marvel Universe, at least in a printed edition. On the other hand who know's what they could do with all that outpouring of idle chatter, most of which has more to do with connotation than denotation, if they decided to plan a series of films?