PERSEPOLIS by Marjane Satrapi

 

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How difficult it is to understand fully the life in countries where I have never been. It is not easy to comprehend clearly those who have different traditions, religions and ways of life. This could be the reason behind my selection of reading; it does not matter if it is fiction or another kind of literature.

Iran, as one of those Arab countries completely unknown to me. The news speaks of them all the time, but this knowledge is not direct and makes you have a distorted opinion about them. As usually happens to us, we put the whole country in the same “bag”. The bag for this country over the last 30 years has been as fanatics, uneducated, macho, retrograde. I think of Iran as a country without freedom. And for an Occidental, “Freedom” is a magic word that means everything, even if we are not as free as we think

It is curious this embrace of a stereotype. I, who always hated those stereotypes about countries and people. But, at the end we are all the same when speaking about preconceptions.

Persepolis I and II was a discovery for me. I do not usually read graphic novels, not because I do not like them, but because I usually do not remember to check what’s new in graphic novels.

First thing first, the main character is a woman, but at first just a child. She has socialist ideas about how the world has to be. She wanted to demonstrate just as her parents, asking for the deposition of the king. The revolution finally came, only that was not exactly as they expected it to be

From the first moment, Marjane’s world is turned upside down. Part of her family leave the country, others are murdered. She, herself is sent out for a while, when her parents think that the situation is worse. An Iranian teenager in Europe. Her life is not better even far away from home because the situation in her country follows her.

The amazing thing about this book is the opportunity to discover a different Iran, through the eyes of someone not indoctrinated by the revolutionary ideas of Iran. The important thing at the end is to discover that everyone wants the same things, no matter the culture, the religion, the country. The horrible thing is to understand how personal feelings change when you are in the middle of a war that never finishes.

downloadMarjane Satrapi, (born 1969, Rasht, Iran),Iranian artist and writer whose graphic novels explore the gaps and the junctures between East and West.

Satrapi was the only child of Westernized parents; her father was an engineer and her mother a clothing designer. She grew up in Tehrān, where she attended the Lycée Français. After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, her family’s Western way of life drew the attention of Iranian authorities, and by 1984 her parents had decided to send her to Austria to attend school. A failed relationship there exacerbated her sense of alienation and contributed to a downward spiral that left her homeless and using drugs. She returned to Tehrān at age 19, studied art, and, after a short-lived marriage, moved back to Europe in 1993. In France she earned a degree in art, and by the mid-1990s she was living permanently in Paris.

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