Pertaining to Persepolis

With the recent success of Argo, including winning Best Picture at the Oscars, I thought it would be a nice complement to those who are interested in the subject matter to take a look at a different perspective. This year, for me, was like the year of Iran.[1] It came up non-stop in the Presidential debates, I saw ‘A Separation’ an Iranian film, which took place in Tehran, Argo was one of my fav movies this year and I re-read one of my all-time favorite books, Persepolis.

Written by Marjane Satrapi in graphic novel format,[2] this memoir chronicles the transition from childhood to adulthood in revolutionary Tehran and abroad. The arrangement of image and text gives a wonderfully visual[3] experience for the reader who experiences political confusion and discord both through the eyes of a young child who grows into her views as a young adult. She not only experiences these events first-hand, but also attempts to relate these experiences to her life away from home. She explains the complexities of the Iranian conflict as a native Iranian but also as a foreigner from her homeland.

I mean, honestly, this novel goes further than the Islamic Revolution because it really is the story of growing up. No matter who you are, wherever you are, the complexities of becoming a teenager and an adult are examined and amplified, particularly in Satrapi’s personal story.

A movie was also made in the same illustrated sensibilities which was shown and won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.

If also you like this format and this writer, I suggest Embroideries, another graphic novel by Satrapi examining the sexual past times of women in her circle in Iran. Both comical and depressing, it’s worth a read since it takes maybe an hour to get through.

The original French cover of the first (of 4) parts of Persepolis
The English covers, printed in 2 volumes
The  first page of Persepolis.
punk is not dead
A still from the film.
photo (1)
I think this has to be my favorite image in the entire book. There’s a sense of naivety and also pure knowledge and joy and I just love it.
Mademoiselle Satrapi

[1] Ok I really didn’t do that much pertaining to Iran, but definitely more attention has been paid to this middle-eastern country this year for me, than in all my years past—probably combined.

[2] And in French originally.

[3] Duh, Arielle…


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