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Literary Kinds

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Anne Dalke's picture
TPB1988's picture

My Selections

I read The Story of the Humpback,  The Story of the Fisherman, and  The Story of the Husband and the Parrot. I don't know if it because the book itself has a universal theme but each of the selection I chose seemed to have a similar moral to tell. I really enjoyed all three but I recommend  The Story of the Humpback because although it is the longest and saddest one, it is also the most thought provoking.

Anne Dalke's picture

"Going beyond reality to record a real world"

As a follow-up to  jrlewis's description of closely related literary kinds--and an invitation to get you to think about the "connections" between your own "cloister" and the world portrayed in Satrapi's autographics...'s a rail map that shows how you can get from Oslo to Pyongyang “without changing trains.”

Jessica Watkins's picture

Arabian Nights

Just read Tales 1-6 of Arabian Nights via the Electronic Literature Foundation, interpreted by Andrew lang and Sir Richard Burton.  The overlapping of the tales (tales within tales within tales!) was very interesting. Excited to discuss this in class!

rmeyers's picture

stories within stories

For our reading of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights I used the Lang interpretations on the "ELF Presents The Arabian Nights" website. I read the Prelude (1), the Story of the Three Calenders, Sons of Kings, & Five Ladies of Bagdad (10), the Story of the First Calender, Son of a King (11), the Story of the Second Calender, Son of a King (12), the Story of the Envious Man and of Him Who Was Envied (13), and the Story of a Third Calender, Song of a King (14) ... all of repeated to some degree the lesson that you shouldn't stick your nose where it doesn't belong.

xhan's picture

Visual Representaiton

I found myself identifying with Satrapi's character more so when I was watching the movie then when i read the graphic novel. Perhaps this s due to the fact that watching the movie mad the more haunting aspects of the movie more real to me, than in the novel. I really enjoyed watching the movie, because I was able to "put a face with the name"-I was able to see more clearly and vividly what I had read in the novel. Unlike other members of the class, I do not think that this was due to the soundtrack-perhaps this had a subconscious effect but I didn't really think it impacted my perceptions of the movie. Moreover, i do not think the movie "cheapened" the effect for me.

nk0825's picture

Graphic Novel vs Movie vs Classification

 Watching Persepolis after reading the graphic novel was a bit disappointing. I always enjoy watching movie adaptations of novels because it provides readers with another interpretation, another way of viewing the plot. Although I may not always agree with the director, I always find the experience worthwhile. However, with Satrapi’s film version of Persepolis I was given the same storyline, pictures, verbatim. Granted, there were a few discrepancies and Satrapi did exclude certain frames and scenarios from the movie. But, I can surely say that I enjoyed reading the graphic novel version more than watching the movie. Like others have said I feel that the narration was lost in the movie and the story moved too quickly.

mkarol's picture

Don't lose your grip on dreams of the past

 Watching Persepolis as a film, with sounds and animation, brought the story to life for me in a way that the graphic narrative just couldn't. The addition of background music really emphasized the emotion that Satrapi was trying to convey, and voices of characters, even though they were in French (of which I understand some), made me much more able to relate to the events that took place. I'm still not won over by Persepolis, but I can definitely say that the movie version caught and held by attention quicker than did the book.

Jessica Watkins's picture

Living Pictures

I'm having trouble deciding which version of Persepolis I enjoyed more: the graphic novel or the film.  I realized while I was watching the film that there are some aspects of this media that can simply not be replicated in the pages of a book, graphic or not.  I think I found myself more engaged and drawn to the film because of its use of sound--it was easier to relate to characters more deeply when I heard their voices and could differentiate between them (for example, between the deep voice of Uncle Anoush and the high-pitched, childlike voice of Marji) and the sounds of battle ensuing and illegal music blaring worked to this same effect.  Unlike the graphic novel, where speech bubbles could be easily confused depending on whose head they were h

skindeep's picture

more persepolis

i really enjoyed the second half of satrapis story - the build up of it and watching it get more entwined allowed me to delve  into it in a manner that i had not anticipated. the story line here had a similar effect on me as did gaimans novel which was a good surprise. i was able to connect with it more and find more depth in it, mainly because i think she allowed it to get more disturbing in the second half which drew me in.

skindeep's picture


a de-briefer - being the note taker for the class was a strange experience for me, having to sit back and watch everything happen instead of being a part of it was frustrating at first, until i realized that it gave me different insights into the way the class functioned and the way we behaved and things we said - i think i actually enjoyed watching because it made listening to people and absorbong what they said so much easier.

anyway, heres the summary for the class.

we started off with a brief history to Persepolis and Satrapi and found out that Satrapi had not only written thestory but had drawn each image as well. whats more, when it was time to make the movie, she acted out each character role.

aybala50's picture

Persepolis in Motion

One of the things I found most interesting about the movie was the fact that it was in French. I'm not sure if everyone watched it in French, but the version I watched had English subtitles. In a sense it was more complicated than reading the graphic novel. While reading I had two things to focus on: the words and the pictures. The movie on the other hand had the motion pictures, the subtitles to read and the French language to listen to. I took two years of French and while watching the movie I picked up a few words even though I wouldn't have understood what was being said without the subtitles. In a way this made it very much like the graphic novel (trying to focus on the words and the pictures at the same time).

Molly's picture

Thoughts on Persepolis

Reading both volumes of Persepolis was refreshing.  I did not enjoy "A Game of You" and was not looking forward to diving into another graphic novel so soon, but once I began reading I was pleasantly surprised.

One of my favorite elements of the illustrations was that they were in black and white.  It was far less distracting from the reading when compared to the business of the images in "A Game of You," and I think jrlewis had a really good point in class when she brought up how the images reflected Satrapi's black and white thinking as a child.  

sgb90's picture

the representation of memory

I enjoyed the film adaptation of Persepolis very much, and was interested to see the ways in which the images of the graphic narrative were transformed onto the moving screen. I think the fact that Satrapi was so closely involved in the project of making the film helped to preserve the authenticity of the storyline as translated into a new medium, which is often not the case when one person’s story is appropriated by another (for better or for worse). In particular, the fact that the film was animated in black and white preserved what I felt was the distinctive quality of the graphic narrative’s style.

Shayna S's picture

Utilizing a Different Medium

While watching the movie the other night, I noticed that while many scenes were copied from the graphic novel, they were executed in a style that utilized the medium of film. 

Think, for example, of the scene in which Satrapi recaps the history of the Shah for the viewer. In the graphic novel, the panels depicting this scene resemble (parody?) the flat art style from ancient works. 

The film depicts this scene in a different manner. No longer are the Shah and England flat, immobile representations. They are animated as a kind of puppet one would hold by a stick and jostle to move the arms and head. The scene is like that of a puppet theater. the background and the people look as though they could be made out of paper or cardboard. 

spleenfiend's picture

from still images to moving images

One of the interesting features of the movie Persepolis is that it is in black and white, which is not typical of modern cartoons.  Since some of the narration by Marjane Sartrapi was shown in color, I am under the impression that the effect of the black and white was meant to make the entire movie look like a memory or flashback, as opposed to the present narration.  This gave the movie the same "layered" effect as the original "autographic."

TPB1988's picture

Two Thumbs Up

Although there was only one option as to which film we would see after reading Persepolis I am really glad we were all able to watch the same movie. I saw the movie before I knew that Satrapi was the director and artist for the film. Once I did learn that information it definitely helped explain my reaction to the film. I was shocked to see the similarities between the movie and the book. Aside from maintaining the same kind of drawing style from the page to the screen, the plot was rarely changed. I saw the movie not even 24 hours after I read the novel and it felt like I was having the somewhat the same experience. For once the medium did not affect my feelings towards the adaptation.

rachelr's picture

What is it about graphic novels...

 I have been putting a lot of thought into why I dislike graphic novels; as a child I read the Sunday comics every week and I was obsessed with Calvin and Hobbes. I strongly disliked A Game of You, and yet I enjoyed Persepolis. Part of the reason that I believe I disliked A Game of You was because of the distraction of all the intricate details and the wild color that dominated every page. The words were scrunched into small spaces, not easily accessible to my eyes. I felt that I had to work too hard to even keep up with the storyline that was sweeping me along. 

jrlewis's picture

Closely Related Literary Kinds...

I just finished reading Philippe Petit's book, "Man on Wire" pp  This text chronicles Petit's multiyear long project to perform a high wire walk across the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  There is a significant amount of autiobiographical information, including Petit's childhood passion for horseback riding.  Interspersed throughout the text are black and white images of Petit, his accomplices, and the Twin Towers.  Some are photographs, others are sketches and notes in

Anne Dalke's picture

Notes Towards Day 23: Framing Tales


sweetp's picture

Persepolis picture-reading

 I really appreciate the picture-reading exercise we did on Tuesday with Persepolis.  I spend more time reading the text in graphic novels, so using class time to look at and decode the pictures was really helpful.  It put a new dimension on the Marji's story for me-- by noting the messages the pictures were sending, emotions were intensified, details were illustrated and new information was sometimes displayed.  This exercise made me stop and take a second to look at the pictures-- it made me more aware of the graphic aspect in graphic novels.