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Multimodality in M. Kovner's Ezekiel's World

By  Ilana Elkad-Lehman, Jewish Film & New Media: An International Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, Fall 2020, pp. 186-216 (Article)

ABSTRACT: The groundbreaking graphic novel discussed in this article tests the boundaries of its genre and its growing acceptance. The case study of Michael Kovner’s book, Ezekiel’s World, and its adaptation to the theater examines how multimodality shapes reading processes, and how the multiple modalities used express and shape sociopolitical views and conduct. The article’s reading of the artistic-graphic novel addresses the genre in general, as well as the specific graphic elements, languages, paintings, family photographs, poems and documents embedded
within it. In reading the play, it addresses the adaptation process, the animation of the paintings and the music composed for the poems included in the book. The interpretive process examines the interrelations between the modalities in the works, as well as their discourse, design, production and dissemination in the sociopolitical context of Israel in the first decades of the twenty-first century. The study contributes to the literature by demonstrating a methodology for multimodal reading, calling to expand traditional boundaries of literature and to reexamine the definition of “Hebrew literature” based on that reading.


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