Contemporary French Civilization

Autobiography by association: joining Joann Sfar's Caravan

Contemporary French Civilization (2012), 37, (2-3), 289–307.

Abstract

This article considers authorial identity construction in an autobiographical bande dessinée by Joann Sfar, in the context of Lawrence Schehr's argument that representations of postmodern masculinity in France operate with reference to networks of associations that assign meaning and value. In contrast with the Journal of Fabrice Neaud (which Schehr includes in his discussion, as an example of working through concerns about the collective), the authorial persona in Caravan is confident about the many ways he is linked to social values. Yet, through an exploration of Sfar's privileging of tropes of association and connectedness (whether familial, professional, philosophical, political, ethnic, gendered, or sexual), questions arise about the obsessiveness and urgency with which connectivity and similitude are foregrounded in his self-representation.

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Sfar, Joann. Caravan. Paris: L'Association, 2005. Caravan Google Scholar

Delisle, Guy. Chroniques de Jérusalem. Paris: "Collection Shampooing," Guy Delcourt, 2011. Chroniques de Jérusalem Google Scholar

Gaumer, Patrick. La Bande dessinée française en 1996. Paris: Éditions Association Francaise d'Action Artistique - Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, 1997. La Bande dessinée française en 1996 Google Scholar

Miller, Ann. Reading Bande Dessinée: Critical Approaches to French-language Comic Strip. Bristol and Chicago: Intellect Books/Chicago University Press, 2007. Reading Bande Dessinée: Critical Approaches to French-language Comic Strip Google Scholar

Miller, Ann, and Murray Pratt. "Transgressive Bodies in the Work of Julie Doucet, Fabrice Neaud and Jean-Christophe Menu: Towards a Theory of the 'Autobiobd.'" Belphegor: Popular Literature and Media Culture 4.1 (2004): n.p. Web. Accessed 10 April 2012. Transgressive Bodies in the Work of Julie Doucet, Fabrice Neaud and Jean-Christophe Menu: Towards a Theory of the 'Autobiobd.' Belphegor: Popular Literature and Media Culture 4 Google Scholar

Neaud, Fabrice. Journal (III). Angoulěme: Ego comme x, 1999. Journal (III) Google Scholar

Pratt, Murray. "The Diary of Neaud's Body: Approaching the Subject of Heterocentricity." In Lucille Cairns, ed. Gay and Lesbian Cultures in France. Berne: Peter Lang, 2002. 257-274. Gay and Lesbian Cultures in France 257 274 Google Scholar

Sattouf, Riad. Ma circoncision. Rosny-sous-Bois: Bréal Jeunesse, 2004. Ma circoncision Google Scholar

Sattouf, Riad., Manuel du puceau. Rosny-sous-Bois: Bréal Jeunesse, 2003. Manuel du puceau Google Scholar

Schehr, Lawrence R. French Post-Modern Masculinities: From Neuromatrices to Seropositivity. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2009. French Post-Modern Masculinities: From Neuromatrices to Seropositivity Google Scholar

Sfar, Joann. Caravan. Paris: L'Association, 2005. Caravan Google Scholar

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Author details

Pratt, Murray