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Drawing from LifeMemory and Subjectivity in Comic Art$
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Jane Tolmie

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617039058

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617039058.001.0001

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What Is an Experience?

What Is an Experience?

Selves and Texts in the Comic Autobiographies of Alison Bechdel and Lynda Barry

(p.26) What Is an Experience?
Drawing from Life

Yaël Schlick

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter compares two different modes of deploying intertextuality in autobiographical writing by analyzing the relationship between textuality and experience in Alison Bechdel’s comic autobiography Fun Home and Lynda Barry’s One! Hundred! Demons!. It first considers the tensions in Bechdel’s sophisticated use of intertextuality, focusing on her awareness of the way her chosen intertexts work imperfectly as a means of describing and understanding her own experiences. It then offers a reading of One! Hundred! Demons! and Barry’s technique in depicting suicide, as well as her notion of texts as magic lanterns. It also explores Barry’s use of intertextuality as a means of interpolating the reader, of modeling textual engagement and turning readers into writers.

Keywords:   intertextuality, textuality, experience, Alison Bechdel, autobiography, Fun Home, Lynda Barry, One! Hundred! Demons!, suicide, texts

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