A Graphic Memoir. The Perception of Authenticity in Alison Bechdel’s "Fun Home"

Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2018 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Erfurt (Philosopische Fakultät), course: Literature in Images: Graphic Novels, language: English, abstract: This work analyzes the perception of authencity in "Fun Home". Alison Bechdel’s "Fun Home" from 2007 is a graphic memoir that tries to create a sense of truthfulness to the reality of the author’s memories by employing various means. This paper examines the techniques Bechdel uses for the creation of what may look for the reader like authenticity. By using for example Philippe Lejeune’s autobiographical pact the text closely analyzes the presentation of text and image concerning the protagonist Alison and the narrating voice as well as the role of photographs in the text. By investigating the protagonists self-portrayal through text and images this paper tries to point out the successfulness of appearing truth of the story as well as distinguish in which instance a disruption of before identified means in form of fictionalization can be found in the text and how this influences the perception of its authenticity. The second part of the paper then focuses on photography as another means to invoke a perception of truthfulness in the text with special attention to photography as means of memory and truth, based on theories by Roland Barthes and Marianne Hirsch as well as its possible fictionalization through the confines of the graphic novel genre and its significance in relation to the text’s authenticity.
Author: Maja-Felicia Kristan
GRIN Verlag, 23 Sep 2019 - 17 pages
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