Jurecic argues,“It appears, therefore, that the reparative writer or critic does not strive to restore the past or stabilize the present, but rather to perform repair in the moment and for the moment”“Such writing does not seek to create the appearance of completion; it is an ongoing practice in the service of a self who is never final or complete”
Jurecic does not believe that these illness narratives grant long term healing rather that it merely is a release for that moment and only in that moment of writing. Illness narratives do not heal writers, neither do they transform them as people, rather it is a practice to help understand and manage emotions.
However, De Salvo firmly believes;“Writing has changed them, has helped them come to terms with something difficult, that writing has saved their lives” -DeSalvo
Unlike Jurecic, DeSalvo, believes that this writing can completely transform a person. DeSalvo feels that writing gives insight into the minds of others and grants readers a sense of understanding. Writing is one of the many mediums for self-expression, while reading gives one insight and understanding to the inner workings of another’s mind. Although critics may not necessarily be a fan of illness narratives, they cannot deny the healing powers of writing, for indeed writing allows for both physical and psychological healing—even if that healing is a short one.
Here is an Interesting article in Psychology Today about writing and healing!
What does David B. and David Small have
to say about their writing process?
Lets hear it from the authors of these graphic illness
According to an article in Time Entertainment David B writes,“[Creating ‘Epileptic’] was a therapeutic experience, but not only that. It was an artistic experience too”
In a New York Time article, David Small writes,“I reached a point when I had to stop with the metaphors if I was going to work out all these repressed feelings.”
Both Small and David B. had to search deep in their heart and mind and try to make meaning of what they felt about their experiences and then had to put that into illustration. These novels gave the authors somewhat of an understanding of what these illnesses meant and how they actually felt about it. Both David B. and David Small had an internal force struggling to find a voice to release and alleviate the difficulties they endured. Both authors found that release in writing and illustration. By being able to tell their story and make meaning of illness on their own terms, both authors gain a sense of power over their hardships, which allow for both psychological and physical healing. They did not let their experiences define them; rather they defined their own experiences through illustration, giving the graphic medium many healing possibilities.