Intergenerational irruptions in Olivier Schrauwen’s Arsène Schrauwen

  • This paper investigates the emergence of dream material in the graphic novel Arsène Schrauwen, authored by Belgian comics artist, Olivier Schrauwen. Although the author purports to tell the story of his grandfather’s misadventures as a young man, from the novel’s outset the focus on Arsène’s life is blurry and unreliable, much like the creative distortions and displacements of dreaming. Drawing on notions of reverie, countertransference dreaming, and Marion Milner’s oscillation phenomena, I read this book as a metaleptic dialogue between two forms of dreaming, one in the text and one without, and in which the author allows himself to dreamily merge with the subjects of story. As such, I describe the work of an artist who creates a deliberately unrealistic portrait of his grandfather, yet in this unfaithful rendering communicates the enduring and destabilizing presence of generational echoes, which continue to oscillate as the counternarrative dream material of present life.

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Author:David Lewkowich
Parent Title (English):International Forum of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 30 (No. 2, 2021), pp. 108-126.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2021
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:PDF-scan upon request / PDF-Scan auf Anfrage
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):
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