Watson, Julia: "The Pleasures of Reading in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home." In: Life Writing 9.3 (2012), S. 303–314.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Watson2012
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Keywords: "Fun Home", Bechdel. Alison, Collage, Intermediality, Sexuality, USA
Collection: Life Writing
Fun Home includes allusions to and graphic representations of several kinds of texts—masterworks of literary modernism and Realism, classics of homoerotic fiction and autobiography, coming-out narratives, as well as Bechdel’s parents’ letters and photographs, official documents, maps, and anatomical and architectural drawings. Juxtaposed in its frames as visual collage, they mediate between ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultures and create a visual ‘archive of feeling’ (Cvetcovich) that attests to both the forms and the power of American discourses of sexuality in the latter half of the twentieth century. The ‘network of transversals’ established in such masterworks as Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, Joyce’s Ulysses, and the Odyssey generates a structure of reversals and recognitions that both contextualises, and provides enabling frameworks for interpreting the meaning of, personal events, notably the death of teenaged Alison’s father and her sense of trans-generational identifications around sexuality in the family. In addition to such intellectual puzzles, the stimulus of sexual stories, as of language itself, stirs the erotic pleasures of reading in her text.
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