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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Zeina Abirached, a Lebanese and French cartoonist, has published several graphic novels exploring possibilities for creative self-expression amid and against violence. Four conceptual metaphors are used to analyze Abirached’s diversionary art in her graphic novel Le piano oriental (The Oriental Piano, 2015), which offers a model for evading monocultural constraints and (post) colonial exclusion. One is from the author of this chapter (affrontier), one is from literary history (clinamen), and two are from Abirached (déhanchement and tricotage). It is argued here that déhanchement (hip swaying) is an apt metaphor for transcultural alternation between the Eastern and Western cultural poles in her book. Tricotage (knitting) offers a powerful variation on, or substitute for, tressage (braiding), a metaphor through which Thierry Groensteen theorized exceptional repetition of images in comics. The chapter also shows how Abirached deftly combines fiction with auto-/biography to escape constraints of the latter on her artistic creativity.

Keywords: Zeina Abirached, affrontier, clinamen, coloniality, déhanchement, graphic novel, multicultural, Le piano oriental, tricotage, tressage

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