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The Comics of Alison BechdelFrom the Outside In$
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Janine Utell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496825773

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496825773.001.0001

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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: 17 September 2021

Inside The Archives of Fun Home

Inside The Archives of Fun Home

Chapter:
(p.197) Inside The Archives of Fun Home
Source:
The Comics of Alison Bechdel
Author(s):

Susan R. Van Dyne

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496825773.003.0014

For Alison Bechdel, autobiography and biography were twinned in drafting her groundbreaking queer graphic memoir Fun Home. She recognized that unless she could write the story of the father who defined her childhood and adolescence, she could not create the narrative of her own queer becoming. The archives for Fun Home, part of the Alison Bechdel collection held by Smith College, offer unparalleled access to her creative process and to Bechdel’s struggle to understand her father’s sexuality in relation to her own in order to write a queer family history that could include them both. This chapter proposes that Bechdel’s autobiographical subject is constituted through recurring writing strategies that try to inhabit her father’s consciousness, first through entering his language by transcribing his letters to her at college, and later, toward the end of her lengthy drafting process, by drawing father and daughter as mirror images of each other.

Keywords:   Alison Bechdel, Smith College, Fun Home, Autobiography, Queer

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