Parker, E (2020) 'To Create Her World Anew': Charlotte Salomon's Graphic Life Narrative. In: Documenting Trauma in Comics Traumatic Pasts, Embodied Histories, and Graphic Reportage. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 199-219. ISBN 3030379973

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This chapter discusses Charlotte Salomon’s Life? or Theatre?, a sequence of 784 paintings created between 1940 and 1942 by a young German-Jewish artist. Focusing upon three key paintings within the cycle, and in particular their representations of open windows, this chapter argues that Life? or Theatre? is a complex, kaleidoscopic rendering of multiple graphic life stories, which can be opened up and better understood through the vocabulary of comics criticism. By focusing on the spaces between pages—the gutter—this chapter exposes how these are vital, generative gaps charged with meaning. In so doing it challenges reductive, biographical readings of Salomon’s life and work, insisting that Life? or Theatre? is a visual and textual representation of many life narratives, taking on the shapeshifting form of an epic, reiterative cycle.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: The final version of this chapter and all relevant information related to it, including copyrights, can be found online at;
Subjects: A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2021 09:02
Last Modified: 22 May 2022 01:30

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