What is it about?

El Refaie's is probably the first monograph to analyse systematically how structural and orientational metaphors in graphic novels -- specifically graphic novels that portray coping with a mental or physical illness.

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Why is it important?

The book is both important because it shows how graphic novels can address with serious themes in a serious way and because it robustly contributes to visual and multimodal metaphor theory.


I am very enthusiastic about the book. My one problem with it is that the author proposes that metaphors in graphic novels can, unlike those in language, can often be reversed, that is, they can be understood both as A IS B and as B IS A. This is something I cannot accept, as in my understanding metaphors are BY DEFINITION irreversible. My proposal is that El Refaie's findings in this respect could be better dealt with by using Fauconnier & Turner's Blending Theory/Conceptual Integration Theory

Dr Charles Forceville
Universiteit van Amsterdam

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This page is a summary of: Book review, Journal of Pragmatics, October 2019, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2019.09.007.
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