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Home   |   The 4 Media   |   The Narrating 'I'   |   Biography   |   Memoir & Sketches   |   Sketches vs. Photos   |   Diaries & Photo   |   Final Remarks

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World War I
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for an annotated list of recommended works.


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Final Remarks

The two articles discussed on my website focus on how and in what ways the four media – memoir, sketches, diaries and photographs – reveal different facets of Walter MacKay Draycot’s identity as both producer and subject.

Draycot is a hero: he demonstrates bravery and suffers ordeals (memoir and diaries), produces detailed sketches close to enemy lines (sketches and topographical charts), and is in the foreground of the action but determined to elude death (photographs). The types of hero represented in Draycot’s narratives belong to different modes of fiction as defined by Northrop Frye. Fiction, according to Frye, can be defined in terms of the hero’s power of action. The memoir, diary and charts are on the knife-edge between the low-mimetic/ironic modes, revealing a hero whose power is similar to ours but who also suffers as he finds himself in bondage in the demonic world of the western front; the photographs of Draycot, on the other hand, belong to the myth/romance mode because they reveal a subject who apparently transcends his circumstances and is in control of his environment.

The different representations of ‘self’ in the four media are shown to particularly good effect when published electronically. Images can be enlarged to display differences in handwriting, and revisions and/or additions. Hyperlinks provide instant additional contextual information and can include other media such as film. Texts can easily be compared, printed and annotated by the reader. Identification of recurring features of texts (repetition of key words or phrases), specific use of literary devices such as metaphor or simile, and unusual application of punctuation marks (question and exclamation marks, for example) can be noted more easily than in printed sources. Finally, texts can be revised on a regular basis, incorporating new insights and research. The richness of the Draycot collection is such that it deserves to be published in full on the World Wide Web. This would also lead to the acquisition of additional documents; several letters both by and from Draycot, for example, have been sent to the author by Britons and Canadians.

The author is pleased to receive comments and questions by e-mail.

~ Jane M. Ekstam
jane.m.ekstam@hiof.no


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