Precisely because Seth’s interest in the past can be mistaken for unadulterated longing, his body of work becomes an ideal site for redressing the somewhat impoverished understanding of nostalgia in contemporary comics. In this book, Marrone locates his work between history and memory, along a spectrum of “ambivalent longing.” Walter Benjamin describes remembrance as “the capacity for endless interpolation into what has been.” This book re-conceives that comparison as more than just a metaphor: Marrone proposes a relation between interpolation into the past and the reader’s capacity for interpolation into the comics text. Interpolation, as Marrone has defined it, concerns an ambivalent impulse related to the past that is characteristic of what W. J. T. Mitchell calls “the composite imagetext structure of memory,” which parallels the imagetext structure of comics. Interpolation encapsulates these complex relations, referring to the memory-inflected filling of gaps that comics pages invite the reader to undertake.
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