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Frictive Presentation of Pain and Trauma in Joe Sacco’s Documentary Comics
Joe Sacco,Palestine,documentary comics,presentation,trauma,pain,
|Publication Year :||2019|
This study examines Joe Sacco’s Palestine to understand the graphic narrative as a presentational mode of expression and investigates how the work reenacts traumatic histories on the page through my proposition of “frictive presentation.” Sacco’s intense reportage of the Palestinians provides physical and psychic spaces which render the people’s suffering visible and palpable. The word-image dynamics and the syntactical specificity of comics also bring forth the materiality of trauma via artistic expression. Chapter One will establish the workings of the graphic narrative as a documenting medium and survey the genre as a whole, explicating the ways comics utilize word and image on the page. Chapter Two will conduct a literature review beginning with Sacco scholarship and seek to expand the understanding of the term comics journalism that Sacco has used in one of his interviews. Chapter Three reviews classic trauma theories and pain studies. I will focus on the idea of belatedness and the inexpressibility of trauma in trauma theory and use examples from Sacco’s text to contest these concepts. My argument is that not only does political trauma remain a reality even today, but we also see that victims are very often forced to live out and their frustrations and compelled to speak out. I will draw on Elaine Scarry’s Pain Studies, in particular her discussion of the relation between torture and violence and torture as procedural. I argue that the violence presented in Palestine, along with the sequential nature of comics and its spatio-temporal presentation, echoes Scarry’s notion that torture is violence broken into complex processes. The last chapter will be an extensive analysis of Palestine. I will begin by discussing the stakes of representation and realism and refer to Jacques Rancière’s response to the proposition of unrepresentability regarding the violence of the Shoah. Then, this thesis will put forth the concept of presentation: Palestine, as well as other works that employ similar ways of expression, is not only reportage or factual reflections of catastrophic events, but also a process that allows us to realize and perceive what we did not experience. I propose to conceive of these characteristics in light of frictive presentation, a kind of material arrangement that creates obstruction in the reading process and helps to reveal the complexity of pain and trauma. This thesis argues that such friction offers a much more compelling rendition of suffering than the representational mode.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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