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Intertextuality, authenticity and Gonzo Selves in Anya Ulinich’s Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel

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This article traces the intertextual relationships between Anya Ulinich’s graphic novel Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel, Bernard Malamud’s short story ‘The Magic Barrel’ and a number of works by Philip Roth. Through these relationships and her construction of a number of variations on what Miriam Libicki has called a ‘gonzo self’ Ulinich explores the tensions between life and art, fact and fiction, and autobiography and the novel, mediating the aesthetic imperatives of what Roth has called the ‘written world’ and the ethical obligations of the ‘unwritten world’ in order to arrive at an authentic sense of herself as an artist and writer.
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Keywords: Anya Ulinich; Bernard Malamud; Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel; Philip Roth; The Ghost Writer; authenticity; intertexuality; ‘The Magic Barrel’

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The University of Reading

Publication date: December 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Studies in Comics aims to describe the nature of comics, to identify the medium as a distinct art form, and to address the medium's formal properties. The emerging field of comics studies is a model for interdisciplinary research and in this spirit this journal welcomes all approaches. This journal is international in scope and provides an inclusive space in which researchers from all backgrounds can present new thinking on comics to a global audience. The journal will promote the close analysis of the comics page/text using a variety of methodologies. Its specific goal, however, is to expand the relationship between comics and theory and to articulate a "theory of comics". The journal also includes reviews of new comics, criticism, and exhibitions, and a dedicated online space for cutting-edge and emergent creative work.

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