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Andersson, Fred. "Among Cowboys, Gangsters and Ontological Jokes". Imagined Worlds: Helsinki, 21.–23. Aug. 2013.
|Resource type: Conference Paper
BibTeX citation key: Andersson2013
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Keywords: "Pavan", Eriksson. Elis, Humor, Metaisierung, Peirce. Charles S., Schweden, Semiotik
Publisher: Helsinki University (Helsinki)
Collection: Imagined Worlds
|Attachments||URLs http://www.academia.edu/3500957/Among_Cowboys_Gangsters_and_Ontological_Jok ...|
This paper investigates the phenomenon of ontological jokes in storytelling. It also describes the genesis and semiotics of Pavan, an avant-garde cartoon by the Swedish visual artist Elis Eriksson (1906–2006.) In my previous monograph on Eriksson, I put Pavan into context as a phenomenon of the Stockholm art-world in the Sixties. By means of a reconstruction of the exhibition Indians and a Cowboy in 1965, and a description of the first issue of Pavan, I was able to demonstrate that the basic characters and settings of the narrative were present already in the exhibition. In semiotic terms, it is obvious that Pavan has a meta-textual dimension as a fiction of a fiction – indeed as a consequence of the original transfer from a 3D to a 2D medium. In line with the theories of Göran Sonesson, this dimension could also be described in terms of visual rhetorics – more specifically, as an effect of more reality than expected.
Referring to my own definition of ontological jokes and some trichotomies of C.S. Peirce, I will now demonstrate that there are three kinds of iconic signs in the comic Pavan and that the very means of the narrative become objects of its jokes. The trichotomies will also aid me in identifying some of those means and in clarifying relationships between fictional levels. By this token, I think I will be able to show that some Peircean notions indeed can offer relevant conceptual tools for the analysis of fictive worlds. One should be aware, however, that the notions that I will present here represent only a small part of Peircean theory, and that Pavan is hardly the most typical example of comics. However, extreme examples such as this one may help us define the limits of the applicability of a theory.
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