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class notes 9/16

mkarol's picture

 - looked at maps on pages 126 and 144 in Fun Home: they show the same map, but the second one is labeled. highlights how maps can be selective and labeled/changed in different ways --> map are fictional representations

- read closer: EVD lead us in reading page 3 --> "think and hear"what the people are saying in the pictures rather than just read what is written

- there's an interrelationship between text and images: Bechdel uses different types of framing:

  • words above pictures
  • words in boxes on top of the pictures --> used to highlight the images
  • word bubbles

- in one image, Bechdel drew an intricate carpet: shows how fussy her father was and the complexities that are present throughout the whole novel

- we should read graphic novels by thinking of them as stills from a film

- maht91: English is her second language, so she found the pictures and dialogue bubbles helpful in decoding what was happening

- some students said they weren't allowed to read comics as children

- graphic novels are about the interaction between words and pictures, and their meanings

- the difference between comics and graphic novels --> graphic nivels have more critical value than comics (entertainment)

- SandraG expressed concern about how much was revealed about Bechdel's family --> a violation of propriety and family secrecy

- in order to tell her own story, Bechdel had to tell her father's story

- everyone's lives are intertwined and their stories shared

- graphic novels are often used to tell horrific stories --> signifies the "unrepresentable" nature of really terrible events

- Why did Bechdel write Fun Home? : to help deal with her father's death? to make sense of her own life?

- read pages 220-221 outload --> discussed the strategy of using the same sized boxes with very little variation --> emphasizes the awkwardness of the moment/experience

- drawing as a form of representation IS fictional

- saw older forms of "graphic novels":

  • illustrated bibles
  • Chaucer's text/drawings
  • 18th century cartoons (Hogarth)



maht91's picture

 Ideas discussed in

 Ideas discussed in class:

"Fun Home"

-Maps on pages. 126, 140, 144, and 146--> maps are specific to what they include. Maps are representation of the real and the symbolic. 

-Bechdel started her book with no introduction, she just started sharing her thoughts about one of her earliest childhood memories with her father. 

-The images she drew are very detailed holding specific meanings. The rug on page three: Bechdel is perhaps trying to paint a picture of her father. 

-The first page of the book: three different shots of Bechdel and her father from three different angels, how her relationship with her father is. Two of the shots show the father's view. Someone in the class said that these shots are like shots from a movie. 

-The boxes inside the images: the words in the boxes place more focus on the image. The image becomes more appealing. The idea of moving images into words and words into images. It shows the high quality interaction between the images and the words.

-In class, we came across the idea that Bechdel has violated her family's privacy. One student said that she would never share her family's secret with anyone, especially if her father, for instance, was a horrible person, she would not share that with people. Some students said the book could be viewed as a "work of love" when, for instance, Bechdel said: "He was there to catch me when I leapt," on the last page. We discussed how people, in general, are all embedded together. Since there is always this interaction between people and their lives are connected, we asked the question if our secrets belong to us alone?

-We discussed that graphic narrations are usually used to represent trauma, which is what Bechdel did, because people are usually more affected by visuals than with words alone. 

-Why was the book written? Ideas we came up with: It is easier to deal with once it is on paper. Or maybe, because she never got to finish her conversation with her father. Maybe she wrote it to mourn the death of her father.

-Page 220-221: We discussed if the images and words in those pages did play a role in creating a bond between Bechdel and her father. From the images, there was never face-to-face interaction. They were driving along the road. Bechdel got excited she said that she never wanted to dress like a girl and she told her dad "Remember." But there was no response from him and just long pauses and silent moments. The class agreed that they were not brought together by their sexualities during that evening conversation. 

-Page 132: We discussed how in the images, the text blurbs show people speaking over one another. The father was still present even after his death (through the image that Bechdel drew). Also, in the image after, both the pictures of the father and the mother are present together. There was a lot of flash-forward and flash-backward of what is happening. On page 135: we discussed how Bechdel assigned each shoe pair as her mother and father.

-Lastly, we discussed what happened to Shields's argument in "Fun Home"?

*Borrow from the common knowledge-->so maybe no need for citation.

*Shields is taking quotes-->same way they were initially presented, but Bechdel is connecting the quotes/references to her own life.

*Everything we do/say is quotation.  




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