Abstract

ABSTRACT:

To challenge the so-called inherent fictionality of graphic memoirs, I begin by reconsidering the opposition between nonfictional and fictional representation from a pragmatic and transmedial perspective, which will lead me to state that no medium can be considered as inherently factual or fictional. Then, I discuss the specific case of Art Spiegelman's Maus in the attempt to reevaluate the most obvious aspects of this graphic memoir that have been be wrongly interpreted as signposts of fictionality. We will see, among other things, why comics readers are not necessarily deceived or embarrassed by scenic reconstructions of lived experiences, and that the representation of people in the form of animals (mice, cats, pigs, frogs, etc.) does not appear to compromise the sincerity of the narrative. Based on this discussion, my aim is to show that invented elements are treated differently in the case of nonfictional representation, and that each medium can develop stylistic strategies complying with the illocutionary constraints of serious assertions as outlined by John R. Searle.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-974X
Print ISSN
1063-3685
Pages
pp. 91-113
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-10
Open Access
No
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