Aurora : an illustrated novella

Sharp, Christine Helen (2010) Aurora : an illustrated novella. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Aurora, an illustrated novella, is a retelling of the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, set on the Australian coast around the grounds of the family lighthouse. Instead of following in the footsteps of tradition, this tale focuses on the long time Aurora is cursed to sleep by the malevolent Minerva; we follow Aurora as she voyages into the unconscious. Hunted by Minerva through the shifting landscape of her dreams, Aurora is dogged by a nagging pull towards the light—there is something she has left behind. Eventually, realising she must face Minerva to break the curse, they stage a battle of the minds in which Aurora triumphs, having grasped the power of her thoughts, her words. Aurora, an Australian fairytale, is a story of self-empowerment, the ability to shape destiny and the power of the mind. The exegesis examines a two-pronged question: is the illustrated book for young adults—graphic novel—relevant to a contemporary readership, and, is the graphic novel, where text and image intersect, a suitably specular genre in which to explore the unconscious? It establishes the language of the unconscious and the meaning of the term ‘graphic novel’, before investigating the place of the illustrated book for an older readership in a contemporary market, particularly exploring visual literacy and the way text and image—a hybrid narrative—work together. It then studies the aptitude of graphic literature to representing the unconscious and looks at two pioneers of the form: Audrey Niffenegger, specifically her visual novel The Three Incestuous Sisters, and Shaun Tan, and his graphic novel The Arrival. Finally, it reflects upon the creative work, Aurora, in light of three concerns: how best to develop a narrative able to relay the dreaming story; how to bestow a certain ‘Australianess’ upon the text and images; and the dilemma of designing an illustrated book for an older readership.

Impact and interest:

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612 since deposited on 27 Apr 2011
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ID Code: 41466
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Pearce, Sharyn & Muller, Vivienne
Keywords: graphic novel, graphic literature, visual novel, illustrated novella, picture books for adults, picture books for young adults, illustration, text and image, contemporary readership, Sleeping Beauty, Australian fairytale, fairytale, Shaun Tan, Audrey Niffenegger, unconscious, dreams, dream symbols, exegesis, thesis, masters
Divisions: Current > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 Apr 2011 06:03
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:01

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