Journal article
Narrative self-reference in a literary comic: M.-A. Mathieu-s L-Origine



Publication Details
Authors:
Nöth, W.
Publication year:
2007
Journal:
Semiotica
Pages range:
173-190
Volume number:
165
ISSN:
0037-1998
eISSN:
1613-3692

Abstract
Narratives in literature and even in the comics have become self-referential. A self-referential narrative sign is one that represents itself. The sign is its own object, narrating and narrated time become conflated. Instead of narrating a story, a self-referential narrative narrates that it narrates and how or why the characters in the narrative have found their way into the narrative. M.-A. Mathieu's L'Origine is a self-referential comic book story of a protagonist who learns from his narrators, a team of comic book artists, that he exists only on the paper of a comic book. Two semiotic devices of self-referential verbal and pictorial narrating are distinguished and examined. Iconic self-reference is exemplified by self-repeating signs and signs that represent themselves in the form of mirror texts or self-referential pictures in the picture (mise en abyme). Indexical self-reference is exemplified by the devices of fragmentation and metalepsis, the participation of a narrator in the narrative events. Metalepsis leads to narrative paradoxes and is a major source of humor.


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Last updated on 2019-01-11 at 16:04