Böger, Astrid: "Conquering Silence. David Small’s Stitches and the Art of Getting Better." In: Amerikastudien 56.4 (2011), S. 603–616.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Boger2011a
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Keywords: "Stitches", Autobiography, Disease, Small. David, USA
When David Small’s graphic narrative Stitches: A Memoir appeared in September 2009, it met instantly with great critical enthusiasm. Moreover, it was selected as a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award and it received no fewer than two Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards in 2010. Critical praise was duly expressed by Rachel Cooke, who reviewed the book for the Guardian following its European release in May 2010, and who went so far as to call Stitches “a triumphant testament of survival.” Moving beyond such efforts at labeling a compelling representative of the growing field of graphic narrative, this essay explores the ways in which Small’s memoir about his difficult experience of growing up in a repressive family in 1950s Detroit, makes use of and expands the currently budding genre of graphic life writing in order to create a unique aesthetic of traumatic memory recovered in the graphic mode, thereby productively contributing to the overlapping discourses on trauma and memory studies. Arguably, the genre of the graphic memoir proves particularly suitable for negotiating the pressures of the personal environment of the ‘autographic I’ by presenting a form of ‘graphic cure,’ even as it exposes a painfully pathological side of life in postwar America.
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