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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton April 26, 2014

An Analysis of Symbolized Character Images and Dual Discourses in Comic Novels

— Taking as Examples the Comic Novels by Yu Hua, Zhao Benfu and Xia Tianmin

  • Zhaoyi Pan and Xinning Pan
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


At the beginning of the 21st century, a new type of novel appeared, i.e. the comic novel. The fundamental feature of comic novels is the symbolization of character images. Symbolized character images convey dual discourses: (i) a comic discourse that is produced by the special methods of cartoons and is characteristic of such aesthetic effects as fun, humor and absurdity, and (ii) a tragic discourse that is conveyed by symbolized character images and is metaphoric. The combination of the superficial comic discourse and the deep tragic discourse of the character images endows comic novels with unique artistic charms, namely the defamiliarization effect and artistic tension.

Published Online: 2014-4-26
Published in Print: 2012-12-1

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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