Ordlöv och barrbokstäver : Mening och materialitet i fyra bilderböcker från 00- och 10-tal
Sammanfattning: This essay aims to understand how meaning and materiality work in four picture books from the 00s and 10s; Gittan och gråvargarna by Pija Lindenbaum, I skogen by Eva Lindström, Vem ser Dim? by Maria Nilsson Thore and Vi blåste bort ibland by Viveka Sjögren. The essay uses two theoretical works about picture books: Bilderbokens pusselbitar by Maria Nikolajeva and Modernismens bilder – Den moderna bilderboken i Norden by Elina Druker. Questions to lead the analysis are: How can text and picture be understood as materiality? How can meaning be understood as a material-discursive phenomenon? How can reading and meaning be understood as performative processes? The chapter “Diffractions: Differences, Contingencies, and Entanglements That Matter” from Karen Barad’s book Meeting the Universe Halfway – Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning provides help to understand diffraction as a metaphor and methodological attitude. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s understanding of knowledge as performative in the book Touching Feeling – Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity is used to understand the picture book as an act of knowledge and meaning, and reading as a performative process where human involvement cannot be overlooked. The essay problematizes the theoretical texts about picture books by taking on different parts of the picture book’s form and drawing examples from the four chosen picture books. Parts that are examined are divisions of signs in semiotics (and in the picture book theory), the picture book’s limits between for instance framework and content, fiction and reality, and book and reader, mimesis and the analytical problems with looking for truth, the impact of the picture book’s size and shape, and lastly illustration techniques and the influence that illustrator, materiality and reader have on the book. The essay shows how different involvements affect the meaning that is created in the picture book, how solid delimitations of different kinds can be problematic, and how words such as picture, text, paratext and content should be treated gently and consciously. Different ways of breaking with methods and thoughts of habit are presented, for instance by using Barad’s concept of diffraction. The essay ends by emphasizing the complexity that follows meaning, materiality and reading, the responsibility it demands of us and how picture book theory sometimes simplifies analysis. This essay stresses the importance of questioning how the methods and words we use affect what is possible to understand, but not in the sense that we should read in a paranoid and closed way, but rather open minded and with room for failures, reconsiderations and other ways forward.
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