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Harnett, John. "Framing the Subconscious: Envisioning the polysemic narrative of the graphic novel as a reference point for psychoanalytical and semiotic discourse." Framescapes. Graphic Narrative Intertexts. Eds. Mikhail Peppas and Sanabelle Ebrahim. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Pr. 2016. 73–83. 
Added by: joachim (1/20/18, 5:39 PM)   
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Harnett2016
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Batman", "From Hell", "The Dark Knight Returns", Campbell. Eddie, Crime comics, Dream, Freud. Sigmund, Janson. Klaus, Miller. Frank, Moore. Alan, Narratology, Psychoanalysis, Semiotics, Superhero, United Kingdom, USA
Creators: Ebrahim, Harnett, Peppas
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Pr. (Oxford)
Collection: Framescapes. Graphic Narrative Intertexts
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The graphic novel can offer a rich source of alternative, yet correlative, perspectives on how narrative operates. Alternative on an aesthetic level, given the unique sense of fragmentation delivered through panel layout and alignment on each page. Correlative in that the ideas it is capable of expressing appeal to established practices of discourse. The particular discourses employed in the chapter are psychoanalysis and semiotics. To aid this process key moments from Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell have been selected. Focus on these particular graphic novels is based on the fact that the protagonists of each offer up a rich source of investigation into the subconscious disparity that arises as a result of over-investment in the Freudian concept of the dream-work. By viewing each protagonist through the scope of Freudian terminology it is intended to demonstrate that the panel can be read as a psychoanalytical device in itself, representing, in essence, the narratological equivalent of a Rorschach card. It will be argued that such a reading permits access to the depths of a protagonist’s psychological make-up. The secondary focus of the chapter, one very much intertwined with the psychoanalytical approach, is to demonstrate how the graphic novel can take terminology from the discourse of semiotics and effectively adapt it to suit such an inter-disciplinary medium. Drawing on semiotic research in such areas as metonymic representation it will be demonstrated how the operative functions both within and between corresponding panels on a page can be reread as symbolic representations of familiar terms within the field of semiotics. Terms covered shall include metonym, synecdoche, and displacement. Both approaches are drawn on to highlight how such a malleable medium can represent a fresh canvass upon which to screen enduring practices of narrative discourse.
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