The Paris Review

More Obscene than De Sade

In his biweekly column, Pinakothek, Luc Sante excavates and examines miscellaneous visual strata of the past.

“Maybe it would be better if we stopped seeing one another. Maybe there is no remedy to our solitude because … we don’t love each other enough.”

, , —the terms betray the fact that the form never got much traction in the Anglo-Saxon realm. There is no word for it in English, exactly. You could say “photo-comics,” but you’d risk being misunderstood. These narratives, often but not always romantic, are conveyed by means of photographs arrayed in panels on a page, with running text, soon followed by its French sibling, ; both magazines still exist. Fotonovelas flourished in the fifties and early sixties (into the eighties in Latin America), then began a slow decline that still refuses to yield to extinction.

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