14 January 2008

Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi

http://www.nchumanities.org/images/persepolis_cover_big.jpg

My introduction to graphic novels - and what a start. There are so many reasons to read this piece of literature. It is fun, sad, moving, heart-warming, educational, mature, artsy and pornographic all at once. On that last note, it's not how you would come to think of it. What amounts to essentially a children's story is horrific at times as we come to realize the life that Satrapi has lived through.

Basically her autobiography - at least up until the age of 14, Satrapi has depicted her own story, through her own words and her own pictures. She is the grand-daughter of the last emperor of Iran and the daughter to revolutionary parents. We learn of her struggles growing up - the same struggles that any young girl would experience. We also learn of her struggle as a female in a fundamentalist Muslim country. Satrapi also grows up in an era of immense change and conflict for her country.

Entirely in black and white, it is dark and blunt, just as I would imagine Satrapi was herself growing up. Yet as a graphic novel, I am drawn to associate with the thoughts of the young Iranian girl. It takes allusions to real events - such as Saddam's attack on Iran - to remind me that this is a real girl who lived through difficult times. In the end, it is her inner colour that shines through the bleak animation that she has rendered. A definite recommended read.

The TV showed a map of Iran and a black cloud covering the country little by little.

5 comments:

Mel said...

Way to go on discovering the graphic novel. If you've enjoyed the medium, may I suggest the biography of Louis Riel by Chester Brown and Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman. Gems, both.

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