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An Element of Surprise: An analysis of how graphic elements change the way we read novels
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this essay I analyze the function of graphic elements in literature as a means of expressing childishness as untainted insight, and the absence in profound loss. The method I use is to go through literature from different times in search of similarities and differences in the usage of graphics.  Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close all use graphics as a communication device between the author and the reader on top of the general prose.

I discuss not only the differences and similarities between distinctive types of graphics and the effect they have on the reader in the works analyzed, but also how the graphics function as a contributor to the portrayed story. Safran Foer has stated that the novel hangs in a strange position where we have little to say about how a novel is supposed to look, therefore I have worked towards discovering why graphic elements matter, and how they change the way we read novels. This essay shows that though graphic elements rarely are used they add a new dimension to the actual reading by giving the reader a different medium to analyze and take in, and contribute to bringing the story closer to the reader by using these components.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Sterne, Faulkner, Pynchon, Vonnegut, Foer, graphic, visual, childishness, untainted insight, absence, profound loss
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100617OAI: diva2:695036
Available from: 2014-09-29 Created: 2014-02-09 Last updated: 2014-09-29Bibliographically approved

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