115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Transmediated Fictions of Factual Representation in Contemporary Spanish Terrorism Narratives

Vanessa Ceia, McGill University

This talk explores the interplay and ecology of text, image, and digital media in multimodal narrative representations of terrorist attacks in Spain since its transition to democracy. Case studies include Gabriela Ybarra’s semi-autobiographical novel, El Comensal (2015), and Pepe Gálvez and Antoni Guiral’s 11-M: la novela gráfica (2009).

Proposal: 

Through a re-reading of Hayden White’s “Fictions of Factual Representation” (1978) in relation to Henry Jenkins’ concepts of “transmedia storytelling” (2003) and “convergence culture” (2006), this paper explores remediations and transmediations of historical documents, mass-media products, and political discourse in contemporary Spanish terrorism narratives—literary and visual. Focusing on the multimodal re-construction of ETA’s 1977 kidnapping and political execution of Javier Ybarra in Gabriela Ybarra’s autobiographical novel, El Comensal (2015), and Pepe Gálvez and Antoni Guiral’s remediated and collage-like recounting of the 2004 Madrid train bombings in 11-M: la novela gráfica (2009), this discussion will explore and theorize the interplay of text, image, and digital media in transmediated narrative representations of terrorist attacks in Spain since its transition to democracy in the late 1970s. Of particular pertinence to my talk are the ways in which history and narratology converge within a complex and networked narrative web that reaches across different—and often competing—media to produce facts and fictions that are often presented as one and the same.