Baroni, Raphaël: "Of Mice as Men. A Transmedial Perspective on Fictionality." In: Narrative 29.1 (2021), S. 91–113.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Baroni2021
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Keywords: "Maus", Authenticity, Autobiography, Narratology, Nonfiction, Spiegelman. Art, USA
To challenge the so-called inherent fictionality of graphic memoirs, I begin by reconsidering the opposition between nonfictional and fictional representation from a pragmatic and transmedial perspective, which will lead me to state that no medium can be considered as inherently factual or fictional. Then, I discuss the specific case of Art Spiegelman's Maus in the attempt to reevaluate the most obvious aspects of this graphic memoir that have been be wrongly interpreted as signposts of fictionality. We will see, among other things, why comics readers are not necessarily deceived or embarrassed by scenic reconstructions of lived experiences, and that the representation of people in the form of animals (mice, cats, pigs, frogs, etc.) does not appear to compromise the sincerity of the narrative. Based on this discussion, my aim is to show that invented elements are treated differently in the case of nonfictional representation, and that each medium can develop stylistic strategies complying with the illocutionary constraints of serious assertions as outlined by John R. Searle.
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