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Picturing Embodied Selves

Picturing Embodied Selves

(p.49) Chapter 2 Picturing Embodied Selves
Autobiographical Comics
Elisabeth El Refaie
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter argues that the authorial self in autobiographical comics can thus be characterized as tacitly, or sometimes blatantly, plural. The different aspects of pictorial embodiment are also discussed here, with an exploration of the links between body and mind from a philosophical and psychological perspective. The chapter here addresses several of the key concepts to have emerged from the writings of Drew Leder and apply them to the act of visual self-representation involved in the creation of autobiographical comics. The chapter then draws on psychoanalytical theory in order to understand why mirrors feature so prominently in graphic memoirs, and why aspects of the body are sometimes portrayed as alien and monstrous. The final section of the chapter deals with sociological approaches to corporeality, and their central argument that embodiment is an active, cultural process of rendering the body meaningful.

Keywords:   authorial self, autobiographical comics, pictorial embodiment, Drew Leder, visual self-representation

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