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Comics and LanguageReimagining Critical Discourse on the Form$
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Hannah Miodrag

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038044

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038044.001.0001

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Langue, Parole, and Constraint in the Cartoons of Lynda Barry

Langue, Parole, and Constraint in the Cartoons of Lynda Barry

(p.41) Chapter 2 Langue, Parole, and Constraint in the Cartoons of Lynda Barry
Comics and Language

Hannah Miodrag

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the manifold implications of language’s langue/parole foundation in Lynda Barry’s cartoons. It looks at the kind of strong characterizations, poignant plots, and grim themes in Barry’s work that resonate with Anglophone comics critics’ content-focused criteria for literariness. The chapter also considers the fact that language is constrained by a langue: a particular feature of the linguistic system that differentiates it from visual signification. It argues that the langue, while not necessarily providing a model for understanding all symbol systems, remains a relevant feature of the specific system of language. The chapter also demonstrates how Barry’s work betrays a peripheral awareness of the mundane and everyday ways in which gender is performatively instituted through a set of props.

Keywords:   language, langue, parole, Lynda Barry, cartoons, comics, literariness, visual signification, gender

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