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The Comics of Julie Doucet and Gabrielle BellA Place inside Yourself$
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Tahneer Oksman and Seamus O'Malley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496820570

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496820570.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Ghost Cats and the Specter of Self

Ghost Cats and the Specter of Self

Telling Trauma in the Works of Gabrielle Bell

(p.75) Ghost Cats and the Specter of Self
The Comics of Julie Doucet and Gabrielle Bell

Sarah Hildebrand

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter uses trauma as a point of access into Gabrielle Bell’s three most recent works—The Voyeurs (2012), Truth is Fragmentary (2014), and Everything is Flammable (2017). Highlighting how Bell develops a traumatic narrative by fragmenting it across these three texts, it analyzes the role speed plays in the ways we tell and receive traumatic accounts. By slowing down her own telling to the point of decentralizing trauma, Bell posits suffering not as spectacle, but as part of everyday living. While trauma consistently resurfaces throughout her oeuvre, its fractured and non linear format makes it easy to overlook. Building on Lee Gilmore's recent theorizing of female testimony and witness, this chapter traces the network of trauma that threads these books to suggest that ethically bearing witness often means slowing down.

Keywords:   Witnessing, Gabrielle Bell, graphic memoir, slowness, trauma

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