Remediation and Hypermediacy – Ezekiel's World as a Case in Point

A. Kohn, R. Weissbrod

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The graphic novel Ezekiel's World (Kovner 2013) illustrates how remediation and hypermediacy (Bolter and Grusin 2000) can serve as means to deal with trauma (Caruth 1996). The term 'remediation' refers to adaptations which involve a transformation into another medium (inter-semiotic transfer according to Jakobson 1987). While some adaptations strive to achieve 'transparency' by eliminating the marks of the previous medium, or any medium, other highlight the interplay between different media. The result of the second approach, 'hypermediacy', characterizes Ezekiel's World due to its overt blend of artistic materials adapted from different media. The novel depicts the story of an imaginary 'Ezekiel', but it is actually about the author's father, the Israeli poet Abba Kovner, who was one of the leaders of the Jewish resistance movement in the Vilnius ghetto during World War II. The author, Michael Kovner, is a painter, and his graphic novel is mainly comprised of his works as an artist. In addition, the novel contains a variety of readymade objects such as photographs and images from films, variations on the works of famous artists, and – most notably – poems by Abba Kovner, which echo the latter's traumatic experiences in the Holocaust. Dealing with the Holocaust in comics and graphic novels (e.g. Spiegelman 1986) is no longer an innovation; what makes this graphic novel unique is its use of non-typical materials to create visual episodes and entire narratives. In their new setting, they serve as means to cope with traumatic events which still haunt the characters. The need to deal with trauma is shared by the father and the son – a member of 'the second generation' (Hass 1990), and is manifest in their artistic creations. In the graphic novel, they conduct a dialogue which, according to the son's evidence, did not take place while the father was still alive.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2017
EventIntersemiosis - Intersemiotic Translation, Adaptation, Transposition - Larnaca, Cyprus
Duration: 10 Nov 201712 Nov 2017 (Website)


ConferenceIntersemiosis - Intersemiotic Translation, Adaptation, Transposition
Internet address


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