Elizabeth Benjamin, Existentialist Comics. « Bande Dessinée » and the Art of Ethics, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, Peter Lang, coll. “European Connections”, 2021.
Comics have great potential to depict an almost infinite range of themes, questions and lives. But what about their ability to express and interpret philosophical concepts? How can we differentiate between the representation of theoretical concepts in and of themselves, and the impact of comics techniques on the legacy of philosophers, their lives and their thought?
This book explores the historical and artistic value of representing lives through the medium of bande dessinée (BD), French-language comics. The text analyses three biographical BDs dedicated to the lives of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus as well as a selection of print and online comics that extend the legacy of these philosophers and their historical movement. The work is the first to analyse biographical BD through the lens of Existentialism, offering a new theory of reading biographical comics. The research not only contributes a novel approach to comics but also an enhanced understanding of Existentialism and the Existentialists, including their enduring contemporary relevance.
Table des matières
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
A Note on the Text
Introduction Biography, Philosophy and the Bande Dessinée
Chapter 1 Applying Existentialism to Bande Dessinée
Chapter 2 Sartre: Une existence, des libertés
Chapter 3 Beauvoir: Une jeune fille qui dérange
Chapter 4 Camus: Entre justice et mère
Chapter 5 Comics Legacies
Conclusion Sketch for a Theory of (Biographical) Comics
Elizabeth Benjamin is Lecturer in French and Associate of the Centre for Arts, Memory and Culture, at Coventry University, UK. She previously worked at the University of Birmingham, UK, and the Université de Lorraine, France. Her research is in French and Francophone memory studies, with particular interest in the ways in which memoryscapes are constructed and mediated through cultural artefacts such as monuments and literature, as well as education. Her work on bande dessinée focuses on the ways in which lives are transposed and interpreted, and how legacies are influenced, by artistic and philosophical interactions. Her other interests include Francophone postcolonial theory, French politics and neuroscience.