Nicholas Burman | An Eruption of Fragmentary Impressions: Exploring the Spectral Narrator in Martin Vaughn-James’ The Cage

Written by on July 14th, 2020 // Filed under 33.1 Urban Studies

Abstract

More than an aesthetic depiction of ruins, Martin Vaughn-James’ 1975 comic The Cage alerts one to the possibility of an urban environment overwhelming a narrative agent. This article draws on The Cage’s narratological tactics as well as hauntology in order to read the narrator as a spectral presence. It posits that what this narrator depicts reflects what Marc Augé describes as “places of memory.” Finally, the article describes how a tear in the spectral narrator’s vision points to a crisis in perception. The Cage’s unnerving quality resides in how it reveals perception itself to be a cage, a frame that limits one’s understanding.