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July 20, 2003

There are triggers to revisiting old feelings
Iman Aghilian  [info|posts]

persepolis.jpg

I spent the 4th of July weekend at a friend's house and that's where I first saw this book. I read it there and then and it took me more than a week to get over the flow of hard feelings coming out of me that I had bottled up over the years. If you ever wonder about my grudge and animosity toward the ones who made unrepairable damages to me, my folks and my country, this book may give you a clue.

Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis has it all. My fondness of comic books, minimalism and savvy meticulousness leads to a deep appreciation for her work. In this book she tells the story of her childhood in Iran through 1970's and early 1980's and the toll of political turmoil on her personal life through black and white cartoons. It's a good one.

Comments
BHS at July 20, 2003 01:41 PM [permalink]:

I recommend it too. It does something that I think we have somehow faced all: explaining in simple terms to non-Iranians what it meant to live in that period of time with all the aspects unfamiliar to them. And it does it very well.

yahya at July 21, 2003 09:12 AM [permalink]:

The author had a talk at Boston a month ago, but unfortunately I couldn't make it. I could see the book. It has really nice comics. It had never crossed my mind before that someone can write a book with serious content all in comics.

Ghazal at July 22, 2003 05:30 PM [permalink]:

I would recommend the book as well.
I could connect to her life after the revolution and during the war and it also gave me a better sense of the revolution as if I was living it myself. I could try hard and dig up some old memories in aftermath of revolution which as a little child they didn't make that much sense. At the end it gives such a feeling of disappointment specially when you compare it to the situation today and think by yourself is it a closed loop?
I should mention that she had tried her best to be fair to events but as I was reading it, there were
still some parts that I felt like she was a little biased.
ghazal

Iman Aghilian at July 22, 2003 07:24 PM [permalink]:

Dear Ghazal,

I hear such remarks every now and than and I remind myself that this book is not a manifesto, but rather it's one person's account of her own life and I don't read more to it. When looking at it this way, I don't find it biased.

BHS at July 22, 2003 07:44 PM [permalink]:

I did not find it biased, either. There's what Iman said and, some may say, I'm biased myself too?!

Kaveh at July 23, 2003 01:38 AM [permalink]:

Since I'm cheap, I found the book in the local Indigo bookstore, where one can actually sit for a while, I gave it a quick look, planning to read it at a more approp. time.

The illustrations are marvelous, in black and white and somehow have a morose tone. It just reminds me of the famous Maus series:

http://www.iath.virginia.edu/holocaust/spiegelman.html

Mammad at July 23, 2003 08:25 PM [permalink]:


I read the first one in a shop(Virgin du Louvre) like Kaveh :-) I had an appointment with a friend but I got there two hours in advance (nice timing !?) I haven't still checked the English version but I liked the original version which was in French. She became very famous by this book in France. Comics are very popular in France and this one hit the second rank adult BD(comic) that year!!

Yashar at July 26, 2003 02:05 AM [permalink]:

I paid a good $19 and bought it, just to finish the whole thing in one day. I liked it too and found it amusing/disturbing. it's a strong work. But now I'm willing to sell it to anyone interested (no delivery charge inside US.)
I also found some parts of it rather inaccurate (I wont say biased), but i forgave her that much, since this was her memoirs from childhood at a historic time, and not an objective account of that historic time. like, the ballistic missile attacks started in 87-88 long after she apparently left Iran in 83. The Islamic veil became obligatory in general public not until 83 (or 82 in some manuscripts)
I particularly liked his idea of Marx and God looking so alike. By the way I've seen that 'Dialectic Materialism for Children' book she talkes about. I found it a couple of years ago in one of our Marxist friends old books. I found it really amusing too, but in a different way. It's a good account of the level of philosophical/political knowledge of a typical leftist at the time of revolution in Iran. It's pathetic. By the way, the guy who was hit by Marx in the head was Fuerbach not Descartes in the original book. Then the book(DM for children) suggested "Now let's laugh at Fuerbach together kids!! HAHAHAHAHA"