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Comics and Sacred TextsReimagining Religion and Graphic Narratives$
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Assaf Gamzou and Ken Koltun-Fromm

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496819215

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496819215.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Ineffability of Form

The Ineffability of Form

Speaking and Seeing the Sacred in Tina’s Mouth and The Rabbi’s Cat

(p.43) Chapter Three The Ineffability of Form
Comics and Sacred Texts

Leah Hochman

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses how two graphic novels—The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar and Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Diary by KeshniKashyap—illustrate awe, sanctity and ineffability. In exploring how each narrative exposes the sacred, this chapter looks at the interplay between word and image, suggesting multiple, concurrent, and layered definitions of divinity. Each text creates a multi-layered conversation inviting the reader to explore textual/visual accounts of the sacred. This dynamic relationship between visual and written narratives informs how readers integrate words from a type of visual dialogue in order to unpack multiple meanings. That kind of agency suggests a graphic articulation of what Mikhail Bakhtin named heteroglossia (multi-languagedness)—the multiple contemporaneous literary exchanges that operate in different spheres. The heteroglossia of the graphic novel allows the reader to envisage multiple, simultaneous interpretations of the sacred.

Keywords:   The Rabbi’s Cat, Tina’s Mouth, Heteroglossia, Sacred, Bakhtin

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