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skumar's picture

Words and Images...continued


I agree with you that the relationship of evil and good are perhaps more clearly expressed as a graphic novel than they would be as just words. However, I was not really trying to get at that when talking about images and words in Persepolis. Perhaps, though, my post was not entirely clear to you.

You are interrepting the function of Satrapi's novel as a means to graphically simplify her experience as a child. In your post you say: "I don't think only words would adequately fulfill the experience."

However, I understand the function of a graphic novel, this particular graphic novel, as a means to illustrate the variability of feminism faces and voices that are being supressed by western feminism (multiple images= faces and minimal dialogue/narration=supression of feminist opinions and voices).

So, I think our disagreement, here, is more so about the function of the graphic novel vis a vis a feminist text as opposed to my intial quarrel with Raina about words and images.

I agree with you that words and images in Persepolis reinforce one another, but only because of the nature and content of Marji's story. Generally, though, I do not think images in graphic novels are more significant than words. (eg. we discussed in class, when marji says "i look sharp." It took three simple, but powerful words to accumulate to explain a picture that would, without the text, be fairly confusing). Grace of text in Persepolis, there is a sense of first person plural perseptive that enables me a reader to "relate to the character (Amanda)." Without the text, I think just having the images in the graphic novel would create a sense of ineffability or exclusion of her experiences and thoughts to the reader. Again, this reinforces the importance of words.

You said yourself that "words guide images...[giving] them fluidity and continuity." This, for me, shows that words can guide images. Furthermore, words can explain even the most intricate or complex images. On the flipside, I am not sure that images can guide text of a graphic novel and give images a sense of fluidity. Sure, I attest that the images (like pictures of ABT and GS in Book of Salt) can contribute to the text of the novel.


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