Illustrations, Fiction, and the Autobiographical: A Writerly Reading of <em>That Scatterbrain Booky</em>

  • Andrea Schwenke Wyile

Abstract

Résumé: Cet article puise d'un travail signé d'Eileen Conway et publié dans un numéro précédent de la Canadian Children's Literature concernant l'effet des images paraissant dans le roman de Bernice Thurman Hunter, That Scatterbrain Booky. Il examine le rôle de ces images dans l'effet réciproque entre le côté fictif et le côté autobiographique, selon le sens du « texte scriptible » de Roland Barthes, et démontre que ces images créent un métalepse qui fait remarquer les points communs entre la protagoniste-narratrice et l'auteure ainsi qu'entre les événements fictifs et historiques. Summary: This paper takes up ideas explored by Eileen Conway in a past issue of Canadian Children's Literature regarding the effect of the illustrations in Bernice Thurman Hunter's That Scatterbrain Booky and examines the interplay between fiction and autobiography in terms of Roland Barthes's idea of writerly reading. It argues that the pictures contribute to the metalepses in the text that both destabilize it and enable a writerly reading of it by drawing attention to the overlaps between character-narrator and author, between fictional events and historical events or artifacts, and thus to the story's connections to the "real world." The concept of a writerly reading is used to try to untangle the relationships between form, content, and meaning.
Published
2007-07-23