• Journeys of the self: Marion’s partial ‘mediagenius’ and the motive reader in comparitive theories of intersubjectivity.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (6th Graphic Novel and Comics Conference and 9th Bande Desinee Society Conference, Paris., 2015-06-01)
      Phillipe Marion uses the neologism ‘mediagenius’ to describe the way in which stories specify themselves though the systematic, discursive relationships that constitute communications registers, by means of what Jan Baetens calls ‘style’, ‘storytelling’ and ‘medium’ (2001). In Marion’s sense, comic strips have a specific mediagenius that is quite distinct from the mediagenius (the ‘style’, ‘storytelling’ and ‘medium’) of other narrative registers, such as movie or writing. The most discussed element of comics’ mediagenius is the notion of ‘graphiation’, a term that Marion uses as a drawn equivalent for the concept ‘utterance’ in linguistic narratology: graphiation is the comics register’s specific bundle of actions, traces and constraints that conjures its relationships between producers, situations and readers. However, graphiation fulfills only one function in the mediagenius of comics proposed by Marion, outside which, with increasing adoption in scholarship, the term is closing itself down, becoming a sign for the recognition of authorial subjectivity, understood as drawing style. Adopting this use of graphiation as a shorthand for recognising subjectivity, this paper will examine in some detail Marion’s conception of comics’ mediagenius as an encompassing theorisation of intersubjective communication, at the level of register, with particular focus on the narrative function of reading as a journey of the self. The paper will then compare comics’ mediagenius systematically to three other theories of intersubjective communication devised by Valentin Volosinov (1929), Martin Barker (1989) and Nick Crossley (1996), using the comparisons to index broader topics facing the study of narrative drawing, in particular the possibilities suggested by recognising relationships between genre and embodiment; relationships between embodiment, motion and representations of time; and relationships between trace and the acts of recognition and misrecognition