The Un-Erotic Dancer: Sylvie Rancourt’s Melody
This chapter is one of the first scholarly studies of Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer by Sylvie Rancourt, an early example of autobiographical graphic narrative in Canada. Ty examines the visual and narrative techniques employed by Rancourt to tell a compelling story of a sex worker and compares Melody to Chester Brown’s Paying for It, an autobiographical account of Brown’s experience as a john. Ty argues that Rancourt’s simple style and the doll-like faces of her avatar contribute to the construction of Melody as an innocent girl who falls haphazardly into exotic dancing to survive. The reconstruction of her episodic memory promotes greater sympathy and understanding for a sex worker, for her tawdry life, leading ultimately to Rancourt’s self-empowerment and self-understanding.
- Baetens, Jan. 2001 “Revealing Traces: A New Theory of Graphic Enunciation.” In The Language of Comics: Word and Image, edited by Robin Varnum and Christina T. Gibbons, 145–55. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.Google Scholar
- Barton, Bernadette. 2002. “Dancing on the Möbius Strip: Challenging the Sex War Paradigm.” Gender and Society 16 (5) (October): 585–602.Google Scholar
- Berger, John. 1972. Ways of Seeing. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Berlatsky, Noah. 2011. “The Double Message of Chester Brown’s Paying for It.” Chicago Reader, May 5. https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chester-brown-paying-for-it/Content?oid=3724333.
- Brienza, Casey, and Paddy Johnston, eds. 2016. Cultures of Comics Work. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Brown, Chester. 2011. Paying for It. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly.Google Scholar
- Brown, Hillary. 2015. “Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer.” By Sylvie Rancourt Review. Comics Reviews, July 6. https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/07/melody-story-of-a-nude-dancer-by-sylvie-rancourt-r.html.
- Chute, Hillary L. 2010. Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Crumb, Robert. 2011. Introduction to Paying for It. By Chester Brown. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly.Google Scholar
- Dee, Mia. 2001. “The Nuns Never Taught Me How to Dance on A Stool: Interview with Montreal Cartoonist Jacques Boivin.” Rick Trembles Weekly Blather, May. http://www.snubdom.com/BA-01-05.htm.
- Deshotels, Tina, and Craig Forsyth. 2006. “Strategic Flirting and the Emotional Tab of Exotic Dancing.” Deviant Behaviour 27: 223–41. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639620500468600.
- Duncombe, Stephen. 2008. Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture. Bloomington, IN: Microcosm. First published in 1997.Google Scholar
- Ego Comme X Editions. Interview de Sylvie Rancourt en 1985. Youtube Video. 9:15 min. Posted February 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrdkk_KlaPU.
- Err, Astrid. 2011. Memory in Culture. Translated by Sara B. Young. New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- Freure, Jason. 2016. “Surplus Humanity.” The Town Crier, February 17. http://towncrier.puritan-magazine.com/reviews/surplus-humanity/.
- Fry, Naomi. 2015. “Melody: A Review.” The Comics Journal, July 29. http://www.tcj.com/reviews/melody/.
- Gardner, Jared. 2011. “Storylines.” SubStance. 40 (1): 53–69.Google Scholar
- Gaudreault, André, and Philippe Marion. 2004. “Transécriture and Narrative Mediatics: The Stakes of Intermediality.” In A Companion to Literature and Film, edited by Robert Stam and Alessandra Raengo, 58–70. Oxford: Blackwell Wiley.Google Scholar
- Gloeckner, Phoebe. 2000. A Child’s Life and Other Stories. Rev. ed. Introduction and Illustrations by R. Crumb. San Antonio, FL: Frog.Google Scholar
- Hochschild, A.R. 1983. The Managed Heart: The Commercialization of Human Feeling. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Jacq the Stripper. 2015. Review of “Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer.” http://titsandsass.com/melody-story-of-a-nude-dancer-2015/.
- Jost, François. 2004. “The Look: From Film to Novel. An Essay in Comparative Narratology.” A Companion to Literature and Film, edited by Robert Stam and Alessandra Raenge, 71–80. Oxford: Blackwell Wiley.Google Scholar
- Lewis, Jacqueline. 2016. “Learning to Strip: The Socialization Experiences of Exotic Dancers.” In Rethinking Society in the 21st Century, edited by Michelle Webber and Kate Bezanson, 113–27, 4th ed. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.Google Scholar
- Matlock, Jann. 1994. Scenes of Seduction: Prostitution, Hysteria, and Reading Difference in Nineteenth-Century France. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- McCloud, Scott. 2006. Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
- McKay, Brad. 2011. “Review of Paying for It, by Chester Brown.” The Globe and Mail, April 30. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/paying-for-it-by-chester-brown/article578918/.
- Mirk, Sarah. 2015. “Discovering Sylvie Rancourt’s Long-Lost Comics About Working as a Nude Dancer.” BitchMedia.org, August 5, 2015. Accessed 26 August. https://bitchmedia.org/post/long-lost-comics-about-working-as-a-nude-dancer-are-now-a-book.
- Noze, Dirt. “Sylvie Rancourt: Melody.” Foxy Lounge, fevrier 26, 2013. http://www.foxylounge.com/Sylvie-Rancourt-Melody.
- Rancourt, Sylvie. 2013. “J’étais une fille perdue, maintenant retrouvée. Entretien Avec le magazine Zoo.” Ego Comme X. http://www.ego-comme-x.com/spip.php?article798.
- ———. 2015. Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer. Translated by Helge Dascher. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly.Google Scholar
- Rogers, Sean. 2015. “Melody Cements Sylvie Rancourt’s Legacy as One of Canada’s First, and Most Important, Graphic Memoirists.” The Globe and Mail, Friday, June 19. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/book-reviews/review-melody-cements-sylvie-rancourts-legacy-as-one-of-canadas-first-and-most-important-graphic-memoirists/article25038651/.
- Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. 2016. “Introduction: Situating Subjectivity in Women’s Autobiographical Practices.” In Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader in Life Writing in the Long Run: A Smith and Watson Autobiography Studies Reader. Maize Books. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/mpub.9739969.
- Smolderen, Thierry. 2014. The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay. Translated by Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.Google Scholar
- Ware, Chris. 2015. Introduction to Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer by Sylvie Rancourt. Translated by Helge Dascher, 5–9. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly.Google Scholar