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Dunley, Kathleen: The space between. Ruins, narratives, and history. PhD (Thesis), University of Colorado 2007 (321 S.). 
Added by: joachim (01 Jun 2011 20:58:40 UTC)   
Resource type: Thesis/Dissertation
Languages: englisch
BibTeX citation key: Dunley2007
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Jimmy Corrigan", Gallant. Gregory, Kanada, Memoria, Photographie, Seth, USA, Ware. Chris
Creators: Dunley
Publisher: University of Colorado (Boulder)
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Abstract
The postmodern period changed the way most Americans consider the past. While critics like Foucault and Derrida stressed the importance of the archive as a site from which a patchwork history could emerge, critics like Jameson and Boym reflected on the past's sense of nostalgia. The pull between a deep consideration of the traces of the past (the archival model) and the more superficial responses to the past (the nostalgia model) is made manifest by studying the function of the ruin in contemporary fictions, and especially, how the ruin is represented both visually and textually in hybrid works. Through the analysis of various photobooks, graphic novels, and other hybrid texts, “The Space Between: Ruins, Memory, and History” asserts how the very act of reading a hybrid work, especially the piecing together that happens in the space between image and text, mimics the act of archival history making, one which demands reader engagement. The study begins by highlighting the efforts of authors who act as “memory individuals,” preserving traces in their illustrated narratives despite the tides of progress. George Hilliard constructs a model history that crosses lines between fact and fiction and between personal and community memory models. In doing so, the text creates a multi-faceted sense of the past of a small, New Mexico town, one that would otherwise be overlooked. The text uses gaps and contradictions to force its reader to pay attention and engage the material, in much the same way that the graphic novelist Seth uses visual anchors, repetition, and suspended perception to reconfigure the comics page in order to “train” his readers to see the presence of the past. On the converse, Jeff Brouws and Chris Ware show the effects of a world without traces of the past—the nonplace. In their representations of contemporary American suburbs and other aspects of urban sprawl, these writers engage the past by the use of the palimpsest. Despite the surface erasure, traces of the past remain in the nonplace, if only through oral histories, hints, or hearsay. When the past's underwriting interacts with the present, the reader must negotiate the gap that emerges between images from a culture that values forgetting and the evidence from the forgotten historical past that haunts the present landscape. The sense of revision inherent in the palimpsest is further complicated by new media textual forms that demand not only reader participation through submissions and interactive interfaces, but also enable seemingly limitless forms of revision and preservation. “The Space Between: Ruins, Narrative, and History” opens the study of textual representations beyond the canon and the limitations of the printed page, encouraging deeper consideration of the changing nature of the trace, memory, and the larger notions of representing and preserving the past.

Table of Contents

List of Figures (viii)

Introduction: Recent Theories on the Trace and Hybridity in Literature (1)

1. Ruins and Responses: Memory, History, and Narratives of Failure—a Case Study of Hachita, New Mexico (45)
2. Navigating the Derelict Landscape: The Necessity for Ruins in Seth’s Graphic Novels (93)
3. Approaching Nowhere: Ruins and Gentrification in Jeff Brouws’ Photobooks (161)
4. Landscape as Palimpsest: The Geography of Nowhere in Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan (207)

Conclusion: New Media Textuality: Technology, the Trace, and Alternative Preservation Models (260)

Works Cited (299)
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