Malmström, Bertil: Ungdom. Seriehjälten prins Valiants tidiga äventyr 1937–1938.(Magisteruppsats), Göteborgs Universitet, Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion 2013.
Added by: joachim (2015-03-14 02:41)
|Resource type: Thesis/Dissertation
BibTeX citation key: Malmstrm2013
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Keywords: "Prince Valiant", Adventure comics, Comic strip, Foster. Hal, Intertextuality, Middle Ages, Reception, USA
Publisher: Göteborgs Universitet (Göteborg)
This study deals with the Adventure Comic Prince Valiant, written and designed by the Canadian artist Harold R. Foster. Focus is on the first two years of publication 1937–1938, where the hero is pictured in his Adolescence. This gives the title of the study: Youth. Earlier writings in the USA on this topic, have concentrated on the artist and less on analyses of the comic itself. My approach is different. In accordance with the critical theories established in the 1960s by Julia Kristeva, Roland Barthes and others, the study ignores the author centered perspective and looks at the adventure story from a reader point of view. In a few places I also let myself as a boy represent a young reader.
The aim is to put the storytelling in Prince Valiant in a general cultural context, and examine the correspondence of its theme and motives with an array of literary genres and traditions. The method is comparative. An historical exposé over the adventure story tradition and the birth of the Adventure Comics in 1928–1929 leads to a description of how Prince Valiant was introduced in Swedish magazines in the 1940s. The analysis finds connections with the folktale, with Jule-Verniads and Robinsonades, with elements in texts from Cervantes to Robert Louis Stevenson, exposing both similarities and differences. One can note a shift from elements of fantasy (dinosaurs) to a more realistic, sometimes didactic narrative. The Comic pictures the historical medieval landscape and explores the height of castle walls in a vertical-horizontal game of suspense. At the core of the stories are the fears of the not yet grownup. The hero is courageous, but shows contradictory sides: smart, naive, kind, cruel, and sometimes feminine. The solution to these contradictions is to anchor the Comics storytelling in the aesthetics of the Romantic period, with its Gothic terror stories, developing novels, rebirth of Arthurian mythology and lore folktale, and its break with the ideals of antiquity.
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