Publication details

Identity Construction in Graphic Life Narratives by Aline Kominsky Crumb and Katie Green

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Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

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Keywords autobiographical comics; coherence; Lighter than My Shadow; self; self-interpretation
Description Bringing together comics analysis, autobiography studies, and narrative theory, this article aims to analyse different ways in which graphic life narratives expose the illusion of a stable and unified autobiographical subject. The first part focuses on the perceived split between the present and past self and its manifestation in autobiographical discourse as the narrating-I and narrated-I, exploring different methods autobiographical comics employ to foreground the fragmented self and to favour the perspective of the past or of the present. The next part analyses the interplay between the narrating-I and the narrated-I in a short comic story from Aline Kominsky Crumb’s Need More Love (2007). Not only does this story challenge the divide between the two positions of the self, it also illustrates the view of identity as a performative construct. The final part of this article offers an interpretation of Katie Green’s Lighter than My Shadow (2013), focusing on the way this graphic memoir enacts narrative self-construction as an interpretative and meaning-making process that can facilitate healing. While this process typically involves finding coherence and continuity in the narrated experience, the memoir also reveals that such coherence-building has its limitations.
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