ENG210Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Pulp Magazine, Psychologies, Psychopathy

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8 Feb 2016
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ENG210 Week 17 Feb. 2, 2016
The (Graphic) Novel
- Calls into question the definition of a ‘novel’
- What are characteristics, features, etc. of a novel?
oTechnical definitions (length)
oThe relationship between words and images
oFictionality – can be malleable (authors could rely on experiences)
oPlots and narratives related to issues going on in the time
oThe novel is neither defined by any singular category or essence nor do they all
come from the same ‘ancestry’
- The novel is a ‘family resemblance concept’ (Wittgenstein – The Philosophical
Investigations)
oSimilar to the family – not everybody shares the same, exact qualities nor do they
all come from the same ancestry
oFamily as an overset of resemblances; not everything is identical, but they share
resemblances
- The novel is ‘the genre of no genre’ doesn’t have a strict set of boundaries or
conventions
-Watchmen makes comics understood as a serious art form
- Some ways that graphic novels differ from regular novels:
oSparse text; rely on the word-image relationship
oIn a graphic novel, the narrative is external (reader needs to interpret it and piece
things together)
oThe novels require different kinds of attention
o‘Free indirect style’ – a mode in which the narrator is able to represent thoughts
and sensations of the character without overt speech (common in normal novels)
The narrator tells you what the character is thinking (seen in Northanger
Abbey)
Different than the character telling you what they’re thinking (this is seen
in graphic novels)
This style of writing disregards the way the reader way interpret
something by explicitly stating how the character feels
Virginia Woolf avoids using this by writing about the miracle of
communicating with other minds
Dostoevsky – internal thoughts and external behaviour; avoids this style as
well
Consequences to avoiding free indirect style
- The sections at the end of the chapters (reports, detention records, etc.) – there as
evidence to piece together the psychology of the characters from their external actions
and thoughts (Rorschach’s journal versus not receiving his thoughts)
- Drama of comics as a result of ‘externality’ – the novel’s ruthless psychological issues
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