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Rich in symbolism, these compelling graphic novels feature more than 200 starkly beautiful woodcut illustrations. The passionate, dynamic narratives include The Sun, a somber exploration of one man's struggle with destiny; The Idea, a depiction of the triumph of an artistic concept over attempts at its suppression; and Story Without Words, a tale of thwarted romance.
Belgian-born Frans Masereel illustrated the works of Tolstoy, Zola, and Oscar Wilde, but he made the greatest impact with his wordless novels. These three stories, dating from the early 1920s, reflect the German Expressionist revival of the art of the woodcut. Precursors to today's graphic novels, they also represent a centuries-old tradition of picture books for unschooled audiences. Masereel combines allegory and satire in his explorations of love, alienation, and artistic creation. Thomas Mann praised these striking Expressionistic images as "so compelling, so deeply felt, so rich in ideas, that one never tires of looking at them."

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