The Play of Contraries in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis (68575)

Session Information: Literary Studies
Session Chair: Navdeep Kahol

Monday, 29 May 2023 16:40
Session: Session 3
Room: Room A (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

Persepolis, a graphic memoir in two volumes, by Iranian writer, filmmaker and graphic artist Marjane Satrapi is the most subversive of contemporary memoirs that defies easy categorization. Unlike other Iranian memoirs riding the wave of popularity following the Islamic Revolution, it stands out as a unique mix of the contraries. The proposed paper examines the ways in which the graphic novel reconciles the seemingly opposite ideas of the popular and the literary, the comic and the serious, the East and the West. Comic, a naive form of literature meant for the amusement of children has been yoked to the serious purpose of asserting the identity of Persian people. It exposes and mocks the dominant religious narrative of the theocratic Islamic regime aptly represented by its black and white graphic images. Persepolis I makes use of a child narrator to recount the events following the establishment of the Islamic Republic. It allows the reader a fresh perspective and brings out the absurdity of the regime’s decrees. For example, it undermines the veiling ordinance of 1980 by showing young schoolgirls using their head scarves in other ways that are contrary to their supposed purpose to guard female modesty. Persepolis II deals with her life after her return from Austria. Again, her illusions of a “liberal progressive” West are shattered. Persepolis is rich and multi-layered and draws its strength from its play of contraries. Its slippages speak volumes about the complex political situation of post-revolutionary Iran.

Navdeep Kahol, Government College, India

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Navdeep Kahol is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Government College, Dera Bassi, Punjab (India) in India

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00