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De Dobbeleer, Michel: "Googling ‘Vice-President Ford’ and the ‘Keene Act’. The discovery of Watchmen’s uchronical universe, twenty years after publication." In: Studies in Comics 2.1 (2011), S. 159–175.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: DeDobbeleer2011a
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Keywords: "Watchmen", Gibbons. Dave, Großbritannien, Moore. Alan, Narratologie, Rezeption, Uchronie
Creators: De Dobbeleer
Collection: Studies in Comics
Having grown up entirely within the Franco-Belgian comics tradition, I confess that I read Watchmen for the first time in 2009. On page 2, I realized that I would need to look up several historical facts and names in order to make sense – more than twenty years after publication – of the complex background of gloomy Cold War tensions against which the action takes place. (Vainly) desiring to get the full picture and bridge the cross-cultural gap(s), I Googled terms like ‘Vice-President Ford’, ‘KT-28’ and ‘Keene Act’, which made me realize that Watchmen, to my surprise, has its own ‘Wiki’, and more important, that it displays a uchronia, or alternate history. Different scholars have fruitfully studied Moore’s playing with the narratological levels of story and discourse. While they have focused on the manipulations at the discourse-level, this article divides the story in separate levels to probe the mechanisms of reading ‘uchronical’ comic stories. Partially inspired by Wolf Schmid’s narratological model (2008), I hypothesize the level of ‘uchronical Geschehen’. Comparing Watchmen to some other uchronical works, I try to explain why Alan Moore’s gradual disclosure of the alternate-historical information generates two particular ‘uchronical reading pleasures’.
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