Bande Dessinée Récit de Voyage: Shifting History, Semiotics, Authorship, and Representation in Autobiographical Francophone Comics Travel Narratives
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This work classifies and critiques several aspects of Francophone travel narratives in the comics medium according to four parameters. First, this analysis identifies a history of the usage of 'travel' as a theme, as an integral character, and as a narrative construct. Second, this project addresses the history of semiotic approaches to Francophone comics to the present day as well as demonstrates a few semiotic approaches that have had considerable attention and some that critics have not as yet exploited sufficiently. I use the poetic term of 'allusion' in comics travel narratives in the creation of another semiotic layer that has received very little attention by critics. While it is commonly asserted that images in sequence (as seen in comics generally) combine to establish a unified interpretation of a work as a whole, my notion of Allusive Arthrology specifically addresses the potential of comics to engage with previously published works on the textual and visual levels in what may be understood as an extended framework of meaning-generation. Third, I examine authorship, with a particular focus on individual versus multiple authors and how those modes influence subjectivity and authenticity in autobiographical and biographical comics travel narratives. This treatment entails the identification of several mechanisms, namely conversational substitution and anthropomorphism, which influence plausibility, as all representational works possess at least at some level of subjective motivation. Finally, this work addresses the representation of two major characters in autobiographical comics travel narratives - author and landscape. The author typically represents him/herself more than any other character in the autobiographical travel narrative, whereas, generally, landscape holds a subordinate position; nevertheless, landscape plays a major role as both a space and a character. In the final chapter of this project, I examine the representation of author and landscape side-by-side, as well as the representation of landscape as a space and character. I have found in this sub-genre of bande dessinée that there exists a direct correlation in the relationship between landscape usage and the assertion of a political statement.
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Thomas, Brandon Matthew, "Bande Dessinée Récit de Voyage: Shifting History, Semiotics, Authorship, and Representation in Autobiographical Francophone Comics Travel Narratives" (2014). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 1379.