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Autobiographical Comics: Life Writing in Pictures by Elisabeth El Refaie

By Elisabeth El Refaie

A stricken adolescence in Iran. residing with a incapacity. Grieving for a lifeless baby. during the last 40 years the comedian publication has develop into an more and more renowned means of telling own tales of substantial complexity and intensity.

In Autobiographical Comics: lifestyles Writing in Pictures, Elisabeth El Refaie deals a protracted late evaluate of the most important conventions, formal homes, and narrative styles of this interesting style. The ebook considers eighty-five works of North American and ecu provenance, works that conceal a huge variety of topics and hire many various creative styles.

Drawing on innovations from numerous disciplinary fields―including semiotics, literary and narrative conception, paintings historical past, and psychology―El Refaie indicates that the traditions and formal positive factors of comics offer new chances for autobiographical storytelling. for instance, the requirement to supply a number of drawn models of one’s self unavoidably includes an severe engagement with actual points of id, in addition to with the cultural versions that underpin physique snapshot. The comics medium additionally bargains memoirists special methods of representing their adventure of time, their thoughts of prior occasions, and their hopes and desires for the longer term. additionally, autobiographical comics creators may be able to draw at the shut organization in modern Western tradition among seeing and believing with a view to convince readers of the real nature in their tales.

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1 Alison Bechdel (2006) Fun Home, p. 118 (original with color tint). Copyright © 2006 Alison Bechdel. a striking resemblance to Alison’s father, in spite of his receding hairline, scraggy neck, crumpled uniform, and dejected demeanor. 1 This excerpt from Fun Home points to something we all have in common, namely the perception of the self as constantly changing Picturing Embodied Selves 51 and inconsistent over time. It also reveals the important role of the body in giving us a sense of our own existence and identity.

They also often express a desire to provide help and comfort to readers who 44 Life Writing from the Colorful Margins might be in a similar situation (see Chapter 5). Perhaps surprisingly for some readers, such narratives of crisis or illness are often told in a humorous tone. , for instance, mixes the tragic with the comic in a deeply irreverent way, an attitude epitomized in the author’s postscript: “If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this book, getta grip. ” (p. 263). In the case of personal accounts of suffering, authors are often keen to establish the truthfulness of their work.

Social semioticians, for instance, are uninterested in establishing the superiority of one mode over another, but instead focus on their distinct uses as “socially shaped and culturally given” resources for making meaning (Kress 2009: 54). Because of differences in the potentials and limitations of their material properties and the way they have been used over many generations in 36 Life Writing from the Colorful Margins specific cultures and contexts, words and images have developed distinct ways of expressing similar meanings, as well as displaying a tendency towards specialization (Kress 2000; Lemke 2002).

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