32. Becoming-Girl/Becoming-Fly/Becoming-Imperceptible: Gothic Posthumanism in Lynda Barry's Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel

  1. Charles L. Crow
  1. Ellen E. Berry

Published Online: 13 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch32

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

How to Cite

Berry, E. E. (2013) Becoming-Girl/Becoming-Fly/Becoming-Imperceptible: Gothic Posthumanism in Lynda Barry's Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, in A Companion to American Gothic (ed C. L. Crow), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch32

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470671870

Online ISBN: 9781118608395

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Keywords:

  • Anthropocentrism;
  • Becoming-;
  • Becoming-Girl;
  • Becoming-Imperceptible;
  • Girl Studies;
  • Gothic Posthumanism;
  • Illustrated Novel;
  • Posthumanism;
  • Posthumanist Critique;
  • Prose Cartoon

Summary

Lynda Barry is a Filipina-American cartoonist, playwright and novelist whose work is distinguished by its hilarious and heart-wrenching portrayals of childhood experiences, rendered through acute depictions of the child's own point of view, voice, and affective landscape. I analyze Barry's 1999 Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel as a vivid example of what I call “gothic posthumanism” in which gothic themes and tropes serve to advance an extensive critique of anthropo- and other centrisms, all forms of domination, the values of liberal humanism and affirmative conformist culture. I draw on Rosi Braidotti's theory of posthuman ethics to analyze Roberta's survival strategies and her radically posthuman identification with animals centering on their shared vulnerability and thus their shared goal: to disappear and to survive.