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Thompson, Christopher J. "From illustration to narrativization. Connecting to a reader in three parodies by Hunt Emerson." In: Studies in Comics 4.2 (2013), S. 367–387.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Thompson2013
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Keywords: "Divina Commedia", "Lady Chatterly’s Lover", "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", Adaption, Coleridge. Samuel Taylor, Dante, Emerson. Hunt, Groensteen. Thierry, Großbritannien, Illustration, Lawrence. D.H., Literatur, Narratologie, Parodie
Collection: Studies in Comics
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In contrast to the dynamic ‘visual’ image, Will Eisner in 1985 characterizes the ‘illustration’ as simply repeating a textual description or decorating it, embodying the antithesis of comics idealized form. Curiously it is this very technique that forms a starting point from which British alternative comix artist Hunt Emerson is able to strike a relationship with his readers in the adaptations Lady Chatterley’s Lover! (1986), Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1989) and Dante’s Inferno (2012). This article investigates the ways in which Emerson’s comics participate with a reader in the formation of certain ambiguous narrator positions, exploring their ultimate connections to a project designed to engage with wider audiences both inside and beyond the classroom. In making its investigation, this article utilizes Thierry Groensteen’s concept of the monstrator to delineate between visual and verbal narrative positions in conflict with one another. These positions are fundamental in establishing a sense of humour where, in the case of Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1989), the verbal narrative is seemingly misinterpreted in order to draw attention to its mediation; in the case of Dante’s Inferno (2012) a complicity between visual and verbal channels is employed as a means of issuing forth contextual information needed to appreciate an archaic text; and in Lady Chatterley’s Lover! (1986) a visual narrator is used to bring into question the representation of the subjectivity of certain characters. This article employs theoretical advances made by Monika Fludernik in 1996 to understand the ways in which these visual and verbal narrative channels are ‘narrativized’ by the reader in the formulation of ambiguous narrator positions that offer conflicting accounts of their mediation. As a consequence the reader takes an active role of involvement in the comics thereby completing Emerson’s project of engaging participatory readers beyond the institutional confines of the traditional literatures he adapts.