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Reading Bande Dessinée
Critical Approaches to French-language Comic Strip
Out of Print
Price £25, $35.50
ISBN 9781841501772
Paperback 272 pages
Published December 2007
Imprint: Intellect
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Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

The increasing popularity of bande dessinée, or French-language comic strip, means that it is being established on university syllabuses worldwide. Reading Bande Dessinée provides a thorough introduction to the medium and in-depth critical analysis with focus on contemporary examples of the art form, historical context, key artists, and themes such as gender, autobiography and postcolonial culture.

Miller’s groundbreaking book demonstrates exactly why bande dessinée is considered to be a visual narrative art form and encourages the reader to appreciate and understand it to the best of their abilities. Miller also provides the terminology, framework and tools necessary for study, highly relevant to current curriculum and she creates a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive approach to the subject matter.

Reading Bande Dessinée draws from analytical viewpoints such as narratology, cultural studies and gender studies to illuminate the form fully, examining how it can be seen to undermine mythologies of national and cultural identity, investigating the satirical possibilities and looking at how the comic strip may contest normative representations of the body according to gender theories. This volume explores the controversy surrounding the comic strips in contemporary French society and traces the historical and cultural implications surrounding the legitimization of bande dessinée.

With the growing academic readership of bande dessinée this book proves to be an invaluable analysis for scholars of the postmodern narrative art.

Reading Bande Dessinée is also an essential resource for anyone interested in the cultural context, visual and narrative meaning and intricacies of the art form.

Chapter titles
Chapter 1: 'From the Nineteenth Century to the 1960s: bande dessinee Becomes a Children's Medium, and then Starts to Grow Up' - Page 15
Ann Miller
Chapter 2: 'The 1970s: Expansion and Experimentation' - Page 25
Ann Miller
Chapter 3: 'The 1980s: Recuperation by the Mainstream' - Page 33
Ann Miller
Chapter 4: 'From the 1990s the the Twenty-First Century: The Return of the Independent Sector' - Page 49
Ann Miller
Chapter 5: 'The Codes and Formal Resources of bande dessinee' - Page 75
Ann Miller
Chapter 6: 'Narrative Theory and bade dessinee' - Page 103
Ann Miller
Chapter 7: 'Bande dessinee as Postmodernist Art Form' - Page 125
Ann Miller
Chapter 8: 'National Identity' - Page 151
Ann Miller
Chapter 9: 'Postcolonial Identities' - Page 165
Ann Miller
Chapter 10: 'Social Class and Masculinity' - Page 179
Ann Miller
Chapter 11: 'Psychoanalytic Approches to Tintin' - Page 201
Ann Miller
Chapter 12: 'Autobiography and Diary Writing in bande dessinee' - Page 215
Ann Miller
Chapter 13: 'Gender and Autobiography' - Page 229
Ann Miller
'Her analysis ranges from psychoanalytic to Marxist interpretations and is a terrific introduction to this neglected aspect of the comic world.' – Roger Sabin, The Observer

'The work provides both a key analysis for scholars of the bande dessinée, as well as a manual for a modern application of critical theory.' – Dr Laurence Grove, University of Glasgow

'This exceptional work of synthesis by Ann Miller must be applauded. She succeeds in providing a detailed and complete panorama of bande dessinée as a cultural phenomenon.' – Harry Morgan,

'Ann Miller’s reading is more concerned with historical contextualisation and with formal close reading than with theoretical orthodoxy, which considerably adds to the practical value of Reading Bande Dessinée. [...] It is to be hoped that this book will encourage Anglo-American students to take up the medium, whether as readers or as analysts, and that it will help French critics to renew their centres of interest. ' – Jan Baetens, Image & Narrative

'Reading bande dessinée breaks new ground, as it is multi-disciplinary. [...] The sensible decision to translate all quotations from French into English will enable Reading bande dessinée to reach the wide public it deserves. This book is a must for all serious students of the ninth art.' – Matthew Screech, Modern and Contemporary France

'The most impressive feature of this book is Ann Miller's wide knowledge and understanding of her subject.' – Peter Low. New Zealand Journal of French Studies, Vol 29, No. 2 2008

'[...] the great strengths of Miller, apart from her limpid, lucid and passionate writing style, reside in her knowledge of the subject and the critical distance that she adopts towards the discourses that surround the medium, and in the abundance of bande dessinée references, from all parts of the spectrum, that are to be found on every page. […] a reading which is as illuminating as it is enjoyable.' – Catherine Simon, French Studies

'The reader who is new to bande dessinée will be hard pressed to find a clearer synopsis of the form's late twentieth-century history […]. Within its own parameters this book is a model, showing convincingly but without pedantry how deceptively difficult, but none the less rewarding, reading bande dessinée can be. It is not often we can talk of a landmark critical text, but this is one.' – Laurence Grove, MLR, Vol 104, No. 3 2009

'The most impressive feature of this book is Ann Miller's wide knowledge and understanding of her subject. ' – Peter Low, New Zealand Journal of French Studies

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