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Updated Up To 23/01/2018
Volume 6, Number 2 (June 2008) : 301--321
Presenting Minds in Graphic Narratives

Kai Mikkonen
Rubric A: Narrative as a Way of Thinking

The paper deals with the presentation of minds in the mixed media environment of graphic narratives, inspired by the notion of narrative experientiality as it is defined in recent narratology. Focusing specifically on three interrelated medium-specific issues, it examines the way graphic narratives can also be said to stimulate the viewer’sengagement with the minds of characters and narrators: the mimetic aspect of the graphic image; the problem of the narrative agent; and the interaction between visual focalization, verbal focalization and verbal narration. Graphic narratives pose a challenge to common narratological analytical categories concerning narratorial authority, enunciation and control in that they display diverse and shifting relationships between verbal narration and visual presentations. The analysis of the graphic means of thought and mind presentation aims to illuminate some of the challenges that narrative theory meets in its transmedial extension. The main examples include first-person autobiographical narratives as well as third-person historical fiction that uses various focalizers and “behaviorist” graphic narratives that are structured around dialogue and action.
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