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skumar's picture

Words and Images in Persepolis

Allie,

I can readily agree with your post. I am not an English major, but I, too, found myself looking at the visual images. Of course, my experience only verifies your claim that words are more significant in extracting the graphic novel's context. What suprises me is, though, is why graphic novelist use words at all. I mean, if the stories they can tell/things they want to say can be illustrated in boxed images, why use text at all? I was thinking about whether I could understand each story without words, just by glossing the meanings of the images. I tried to experiment and failed. It is impossible, I think, to understand a story completely without words. Any one else on this issue? (read: Raina or Emily) I want to know how a "pro-picture" person interacted with the graphic novel.

Also, Allie you raised a concern about ignoring the images while reading Persepolis. I read the text, then looked at the pictures to better understand the setting and dialogue. Initially, though, I found it frustrating having such little text. Like some people (Sarina among others) who pressed concern that "Lifting Belly" had no punctuation and was difficult to read, I found the lack of words, of fully structured sentences a hinderance to my overall comprehension. After every story, I was left wondering, "is that all?" I think, though, the lack of words serves a purpose (see longer post).

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