Browsing Senior Theses by Subject "Absence in literature"
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- ItemGraphic Remembrance: Recuperation and Absence in Thi Bui's The Best We Could Do (2017)(2019) Nguyen, Andrew; McInerney, Maud BurnettThe Best We Could Do (2017), a graphic novel serving as memoir by Thi Bui, employs formal elements of absence presenting in turn a recording of a narrative of absence salient in the memories of a family of refugees from the Việt Nam War. The mode of the graphic novel allows for Bui to recreate a narrative structure that presents innocence, stability, family, parenthood, and motherhood as perceived as lost rather than as absent from herself. She employs many intermedium traditions of the graphic novel, along with many more recent traditions of the graphic memoir, to archive memory and to explore and set right where loss and absence are confounded (LaCapra). These traditions include the use of framed, sequenced storytelling, implementing page layout decision-making for the purpose of regenerating and reinvigorating the past and past bodies (Chute) in an embodied manner. Splash pages, image insertion, and purposefully vague embodied illustration archive images of swimming, of childbirth, and of family. The literal domiciliation (Derrida) of memory provides a home for Bui’s stories of herself and her family, encapsulating a living compendium of emotions while also proving the fullness of its constituent characters, a group of people who live having survived trauma. The recreation of self, of family, living and dead on the page, parallels the literal reproduction Bui engages in as she brings her son into the world. The Best We Could Do provides an answer to the feelings of uncertainty that permeate Bui’s world, visualized, as she enters into motherhood.