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Cadrette, Ryan. "S/Z in Panels: Adaptation, polysemous textuality and the graphic novel." Framescapes. Graphic Narrative Intertexts. Eds. Mikhail Peppas and Sanabelle Ebrahim. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Pr. 2016. 31–38. 
Added by: joachim (1/20/18, 5:22 PM)   
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Cadrette2016
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Categories: General
Keywords: "The Sandman", Barthes. Roland, Gaiman. Neil, Intertextuality, Myth, United Kingdom, USA
Creators: Cadrette, Ebrahim, Peppas
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Pr. (Oxford)
Collection: Framescapes. Graphic Narrative Intertexts
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The task of this chapter is twofold: Firstly, it examines whether the graphic narrative can, or should be, approached as an ‘open’ or plural text, pregnant with a multitude of possible interpretations rather than a singular definitive meaning. Secondly, it seeks to discern how the representational strategies of graphic narrative transform literary texts, attempting to provide a formal means of quantifying narrative adaptation in terms of addition, alteration, and loss. In order to address these seemingly diverse inquiries, the chapter draws upon the theory of polysemous textuality outlined in Roland Barthes’ essay S/Z, assessing the benefits and limitations that such a framework may bring to the analysis of the graphic narrative. Using the theoretical framework of S/Z to compare ‘The Song of Orpheus’ from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman to a translation of the Orpheus myth from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, I consider whether the medium specific properties of the graphic novel functionally limit the range of different possible readings, or if the addition of visual and temporal signifiers instead render the text somehow more ‘writerly’ through the explosion of intertextual referents. Through a systematic application to both works, the chapter explores whether Barthes’ five narrative codes are a relevant tool for the analysis of the graphic narrative specifically, and for the analysis of narrative adaptation more generally. Particular attention is paid to the transformation of the referential code, and how it contributes to the expansion of intertextual networks of adaptation and appropriation.
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