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 Fakultšt), 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.
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accuracy actual Alison appear assumes authenticity autobiographical aware background Barthes Bechdel becomes beginning Bruce calls Camera captions changing chapter character’s characters child claim connection consciously create credibility death describe detailed diary documents drawing drawn emotional employ especially evaluating examine experience express father fictional Fun Home further giving gone graphic memoir graphic novel hand handwriting Hatfield holding identity illustrating imaginative important instances interpretation kind letters literary lives look lying mainly maps means memory narrating narrative Neumann object older pact panel particular past perception of authenticity person perspective photographs picture places play portrayed present proof protagonist prove questions reader realistic reality recreation reflect relation remembered representation reproduce role seems shows situation Smith and Watson story style subjectivity suggest taken tell tries true truth trying underline understanding various verbal visual writing young