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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.

we then went back to theimages we had briefly seen in the previous class, of historical stories written/told in the form of pictures. we paired up and spoke about how our view of persepolis would change/what it would be if we were to trace it's history. we had five examples of historical illustrations (3 given by critics and 2 by satrapi herself. our goal was to try and draft an 'essay' (in our minds and through our conversations) about the evolution of autographics. while doing this it was important to keep in mind that none of generic forms we were looking at were autobiographical.

once we were done, we looked for 'echos' that we saw between persepolis and these forms. did satrapi pick ideas/strategies from any of these forms?

when we reconviened as a class, we realised that a lot of people had compared satrapi's novel to Hogarth's work - his use of black and white, crowded scenes that emphasize on individuals, pictures that looked like snapshots, the way they both concentrated on the darker areas of life etc. we also found differences between the two though - like how hogarth uses complicated, intricate pictures to get his message across while satrapi uses mainly simple pictures followed with the same amount of text - making her worl easy to follow.

there were other interesting things that came up as well:

mkarol spoke about why people are compelled to tell stories, and took us back to the age of the caveman and his cave paintings and a language of symbols that he had. she also spoke about political and satarical comics in newspapers.

TPB1988 spoke about how pictures tell a story for every - the literate and not, and spoke about the illustrated bible, the stain glass paintings in church windows and then compared the frames in comic books to Gods window.

spleenfiend compared it to the bible as well, but mainly highlighting the transaction from being pure to getting corrupted - adam and eve, country girl to prostitute in Hogarths work and persepolis' journey from europe to the middle east.

anne then reminded us of the use of the gutter - the spacebetween two images and the manner in which it highlights what happens in the silence.

sweetp and sbg90 compared her novel to her film, and how both are in black and white and the message that comes with it -- it seems more coherent and highlights the doubleness of words and images.

shaynas compard it to the miniatures and drew a parallel between the initial similarity in all the pictures and the then small but noticable differences.

jrf then said that a lot of the best images we have are created in our own imaginations - and that satrapi leaves space for that to be possible.

the class then shifted. we then spoke about the manner in which graphic novels reconstruct the manner in which a story is told, and discussed the possibility of persepolis being viewed as a feministic novel -- keep in mind that in persepolis, we get the view of a child and an adult from a personal and political perspective, and this is made possible because the author narrates herself on a page.

we looked at the manner in which words have been used in the novel - the voices, thoughts and mindsets - how is margie doubled?

we thought about whether feminism was evident not in the theme but in the form of the book.

a lot of people had mixed views on this, thought most seem to think that it wasnt feministic but a manner of portraying herself which, like anything else can be viewed as feministic depending on your definition of the word.

we picked scenes from the book (the bar, veil etc) and spoke about the doubleness of what is said and portayed in them. while doing so we paid special attention to thought bubbles and captions and the difference in what they mean, the message they carry and when theyre used.

we decided that thought bubbles are usd to show what satrapi thought at the time - telling her story and hence are usually more emotional while captions are what she is imposing on the story now, as a 40yr old and are hence usually more rational.




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