Advertisement

Graphic Autofiction and the Visualization of Trauma in Lynda Barry and Phoebe Gloeckner’s Graphic Memoirs

  • Olga Michael
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Life Writing book series (PSLW)

Abstract

Olga Michael examines ‘graphic autofiction’ in Lynda Barry’s One! Hundred! Demons! (2002) and What It Is (2009) and Phoebe Gloeckner’s A Child’s Life and Other Stories (2000) and The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures (2002), demonstrating how it allows feminist performances that visualize the cartoonists’ authentic experiences of sexual and other forms of trauma. The chapter makes a valuable contribution to current debates on autofiction by moving beyond its literary expressions and investigating how the hybrid medium of comics accommodates the genre and how that, in turn, complicates the representation of trauma. Michael also proposes that ‘graphic autofiction’ allows the formation of feminist counter-narratives to the silencing of female abuse victims and the latter’s representation beyond victimhood.

Keywords

Graphic autofiction Comics Childhood trauma Phoebe Gloeckner Lynda Barry 

Works Cited

  1. Baetens, Jan. ‘Dominique Goblet: The List Principle and the Meaning of Form.’ Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels. Ed. Michael Chaney. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  2. Barry, Lynda. One! Hundred! Demons! Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Books, 2002.Google Scholar
  3. ———. What It Is. London: Jonathan Cape, 2009.Google Scholar
  4. Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. London: Jonathan Cape, 2006.Google Scholar
  5. de Bloois, Joost. ‘Introduction: The Artists Previously Known as … or the Loose End of Conceptual Art and the Possibilities of “Visual Autofiction.”’ Image & Narrative 2.19 (2007): n.p.Google Scholar
  6. Boyle, Claire. Consuming Autobiographies: Reading and Writing the Self in Post-war France. London: Legenda, 2007.Google Scholar
  7. Brandt, Jenn. ‘Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers and the Art of Graphic Autofiction.’ Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 5.1 (2014): 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Butler, Judith. ‘Sovereign Performatives.’ Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. London: Routledge, 1997.Google Scholar
  9. Caruth, Cathy. ‘Introduction.’ Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  10. Célestin, Roger. ‘Interview with Serge Doubrovsky: Autofiction and Beyond.’ Sites: The Journal of Twentieth-Century/Contemporary French Studies/revue d’études français 1.2 (1997): 397–405.Google Scholar
  11. Chase, Alisia. ‘You Must Look at the Personal Clutter: Diaristic Indulgence, Female Adolescence and Feminist Autobiography.’ Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art. Ed. Jane Tolmie. Jackson, MS: Mississippi University Press, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chute, Hillary L. Graphic Women: Life Narrative & Contemporary Comics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.Google Scholar
  13. Chute, Hillary L., and Marianne DeKoven. ‘Introduction: Graphic Narrative.’ Modern Fiction Studies 52.4 (2006): 767–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Doucet, Julie. Dirty Plotte. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 1991–1998.Google Scholar
  15. Drechsler, Debbie. Daddy’s Girl. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics, 2008.Google Scholar
  16. El Refaie, Elisabeth. ‘Visual Modality Vs Authenticity: The Example of Autobiographical Comics.’ Visual Studies 25.2 (2010): 162–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. ———. Autobiographical Comics: Life Writing in Pictures. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2012.Google Scholar
  18. Freud, Sigmund. Early Psychoanalytic Publications, Vol. 3, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works. Eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud. Trans. James Strachey. London: Vintage, 2001.Google Scholar
  19. Gardner, Jared. ‘Autobiography’s Biography, 1972–2007.’ Biography 31.1 (2008): 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gilmore, Leigh. The Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
  21. ———. ‘Jurisdictions: I, Rigoberta Menchú, The Kiss, and Scandalous Self-Representation in the Age of Memoir and Trauma.’ Signs 28.2 (2003): 695–718.Google Scholar
  22. Gloeckner, Phoebe. A Child’s Life and Other Stories. Berkeley, CA: Frog Books, 2000.Google Scholar
  23. ———. The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures. Berkeley, CA: Frog Books, 2002.Google Scholar
  24. ———. ‘Autobiography: The Process That Negates the Term.’ Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels. Ed. Michael Chaney. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  25. Goblet, Dominique. Portraits Crachés. Brussels: Fréon, 1997.Google Scholar
  26. Gusdorf, Georges. ‘Conditions and Limits of Autobiography.’ Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical. Ed. and Trans. James Olney. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  27. Hatfield, Charles. Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  28. ———. ‘Introduction to “Comics and Childhood.”’ ImageText: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies 3.3 (2007): n.p.Google Scholar
  29. Hirsch, Marianne. ‘Editor’s Column: Collateral Damage.’ Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 119.5 (2004): 1209–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jolly, Margaretta, ed. Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms, Vol. 1. London: Routledge, 2001.Google Scholar
  31. Kominsky-Crumb, Aline. Love that Bunch. Ed. Gary Groth. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics, 1990.Google Scholar
  32. Kuhn, Annette. Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination. London: Verso, 2002.Google Scholar
  33. Lejeune, Philippe. ‘The Autobiographical Pact.’ On Autobiography. Ed. John Eakin. Trans. Katherine Leary. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1989.Google Scholar
  34. Michael, Olga. ‘Lolita Is Set Free: Questioning and Re-inventing Constructions of Adolescent and Pre-adolescent Female Beauty in Phoebe Gloeckner’s Graphic Memoirs.’ Female Beauty in Art: History, Feminism, Women Artists. Eds. Maria Ioannou and Maria Kyriakidou. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2014.Google Scholar
  35. ———. ‘Excavating Childhood: Fairy Tales, Monsters and Abuse Survival in Lynda Barry’s What It Is.’ Journal of Auto/Biography Studies 32.3 (2017): n.p.Google Scholar
  36. Pedri, Nancy. ‘Cartooning Ex-posing Photography in Graphic Memoir.’ Literature & Aesthetics 22.2 (2012): 248–66.Google Scholar
  37. Rak, Julie. ‘Are Memoirs Autobiography? A Consideration of Genre and Public Identity.’ Genre 37.3–4 (2005): 483–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Scarry, Elaine. ‘Introduction.’ The Body in Pain: The Making and the Unmaking of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  39. Schlick, Yaël. ‘What Is an Experience: Selves and Texts in the Comic Autobiographies of Lynda Barry and Alison Bechdel.’ Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art. Ed. Jane Tolmie. Jackson, MS: Mississippi University Press, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.Google Scholar
  41. Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, My Father Bleeds History. London: Penguin, 2003.Google Scholar
  42. ———. In the Shadow of No Towers. London: Viking, 2004.Google Scholar
  43. Suleiman, Susan Rubin, ed. ‘(Re)Writing the Body: The Politics and Poetics of Female Eroticism.’ The Female Body in Western Art: Contemporary Perspectives. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.Google Scholar
  44. Tensuan, Theresa M. ‘Comic Visions and Revisions in the Work of Lynda Barry and Marjane Satrapi.’ Modern Fiction Studies 52.4 (2006): 947–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Michael
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Central LancashireLarnacaCyprus

Personalised recommendations