Picturing Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Representing philosophical ideas in graphic novel format

Kilburn, Nathan (2016) Picturing Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Representing philosophical ideas in graphic novel format. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

This commentary appraises the approach and methodology used in a visual interpretation of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra in the form of graphic narrative art. While not alone in the field of graphic novel adaptations, this research project presents, for the first time in English, an illustrative interpretation of all four parts of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, one that tackles Nietzsche’s challenging concepts in a more philosophically informed light through the praxis of the visual aphorism, which is posited as a visual counterpart to Nietzsche’s chosen form of rhetoric. The interpretation and depiction of Nietzsche’s concepts are considered alongside other attempts by graphic artists to represent literary and philosophical ideas in a visual format. Attention is also paid to Nietzsche’s distorted public reputation and, in particular, the way that his concept of the Übermensch has become synonymous with the DC character, Superman. Given how entrenched such an association is, this graphic reworking has sought to draw profitably on the links in order to make more contemporary sense of Nietzsche’s avatar, Zarathustra. Not only does this thesis contribute to knowledge in being the first comprehensive reworking of all four parts of Nietzsche’s text in graphic format, but also in developing the concept of the ‘visual aphorism’ as a powerful technique for representing complex philosophical and conceptual ideas.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Electronic version of thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Divisions: University of Bolton Theses > Arts and Media Technologies
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2018 18:26
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2018 18:26
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/1307

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