The Black Paganini
The Black Paganini is a graphic novel about the Cuban violinist Claudio José Domingo Brindis de Salas and Garrido (1852-1911). Almost absent in most history books, this historical figure was popularly known as ‘the King of Octaves’. He was the first violin at Germany’s Imperial Orchestra. He became a knight and a baron who obtained the highest awards from almost every European court. This historical graphic novel is both dramatic and educational. The fact that a black man in nineteenthcentury Europe could achieve the highest social recognition is the first thing that arouses the reader’s curiosity. Especially considering that for people of his race, the echo of slavery’s corporal punishment lingered throughout the West and Brindis’ home country, Cuba. A closed reading of this graphic novel will make evident the use of Icarus’ rise and fall as an essential archetype and referent to our main character’s path.