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Persepolis #1-4

The Complete Persepolis

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Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrapi's best-selling, internationally acclaimed memoir-in-comic-strips.

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming—both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom—Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.

341 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2003

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About the author

Marjane Satrapi

44 books5,484 followers
Marjane Satrapi (Persian: مرجان ساتراپی) is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novellist, illustrator, animated film director, and children's book author. Apart from her native tongue Persian, she speaks English, Swedish, German, French and Italian.

Satrapi grew up in Tehran in a family which was involved with communist and socialist movements in Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution. She attended the Lycée Français there and witnessed, as a child, the growing suppression of civil liberties and the everyday-life consequences of Iranian politics, including the fall of the Shah, the early regime of Ruhollah Khomeini, and the first years of the Iran-Iraq War. She experienced an Iraqi air raid and Scud missile attacks on Tehran. According to Persepolis, one Scud hit the house next to hers, killing her friend and entire family.

Satrapi's family are of distant Iranian Azeri ancestry and are descendants of Nasser al-Din Shah, Shah of Persia from 1848 until 1896. Satrapi said that "But you have to know the kings of the Qajar dynasty, they had hundreds of wives. They made thousands of kids. If you multiply these kids by generation you have, I don't know, 10-15,000 princes [and princesses]. There's nothing extremely special about that." She added that due to this detail, most Iranian families would be, in the words of Simon Hattenstone of The Guardian, "blue blooded."

In 1983, at the age of 14 Satrapi was sent to Vienna, Austria by her parents in order to flee the Iranian regime. There she attended the Lycée Français de Vienne. According to her autobiographical graphic novel, Persepolis, she stayed in Vienna through her high school years, staying in friends' homes, but spent three months living on the streets. After an almost deadly bout of pneumonia, she returned to Iran. She studied Visual Communication, eventually obtaining a Master's Degree from Islamic Azad University in Tehran.

During this time, Satrapi went to numerous illegal parties hosted by her friends, where she met a man named Reza, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War. She married him at the age of 21, but divorced roughly three years later. Satrapi then moved to Strasbourg, France.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,518 reviews
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 65 books233k followers
March 29, 2012
I sat down to read a little of this during lunch, and ended up sitting in the restaurant for an hour after I was done eating. Eventually I felt guilty and left, but my plans were shot for the afternoon, as all I could think about was finishing this book.

I wish there were some mechanism on Goodreads to occasionally give a book more than five stars. Something to indicate when you think a book is more than merely excellent. Like for every 100 books you review, you earn the right to give one six-star review.

If such a mechanism were in place, I'd use my six-star review on this graphic novel. It was lovely and clear. It had a strong emotional impact, without being sugary or uncomfortable. It was eye-opening without being preachy or didactic. I read the whole thing in less than three hours, and I can honestly say I am better for the experience.
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
967 reviews6,856 followers
April 12, 2023
This should be required reading, I want to pass out copies of this book on street corners. Easily one of the best graphic novels--and books in general--I have ever read and I have just finished it for a second time after making my book club read it this month. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis is an important look at modern Iranian history, the people caught in the political struggles, and an empowering look at feminism and finding yourself amidst the bombs, oppression, and cultural clashes of the world. The historical events become the landscape for Satrapi’s coming of age story, witnessing the Iranian Revolution and war as a child, then spending her teenage years abroad only to return to Iran and struggle to thrive where women are kept down and the secret police are always lurking. Seriously, get this right now. I openly wept at a bar while reading this (while only on my first drink). I love Marjane Satrapi's work so much and I wish I would have come to it much sooner.

The graphic novel format for this story is very engaging, able to fluidly move between internal and external observations and depictions from frame to frame. The narration is quite extraordinary as well, with the language matching Marjane’s age as the novel progresses. Late in the book, as an adult, she even breaks the fourth wall, clearly addressing the reader while her cartoon image stares directly at you from the page. Like The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman, the graphic novel format makes for a wonderfully accessible look at history while delivering an incredible amount of emotion, empathy while also being a direct, first-person account of atrocities, violence and oppression from the perspective of someone facing it all themselves. Also like Maus, Satrapi’s Persepolis has faced a large amount of book challenges and bannings in the United States. Which is a real shame for many reasons, but a large one is that it puts Iranian history and society in a perspective that differs from the typical Western propaganda, such as showing Western influence in the regime change, countries like the US providing weapons for both Iran and Iraq during the war to weaken both as well as showing that most people living there are not the Fundamentalists and are trying to live a full life full of friendships and freedom.

The second half of the book deals with Marjane living abroad and the perceptions of others about Iran from the outside as well as seeing that oppressive beliefs and racism exist everywhere is a key detail. A favorite scene of mine is when Marjane is invited to hang out with anarchists only to find them playing capture the flag. There is a bit of rib-poking at college aged intelligentsia having heads full of theory but no experience, saying things to her like her having seen war and bodies in the street is “cool”, etc. The disconnect is quite interesting.

Though not everything in this book is about violence, and the coming-of-age aspects are really quite endearing. We see Marjane getting Western music from guys in trenchcoats on the street (her dad smuggling a Kim Wilde poster through airport security is a wonderful scene), witness disasterous relationships and breakups, watch her try to reinvent herself and grow up into who she is. Her story is quite moving and we see her challenge societal norms, such as pushing for better dresscodes for the art school she attends. Along the way we get the idea that she is lucky to have escaped many of the scenarios involving authorities.

The biggest heart of the story, however, is the family dynamic. The emotional connection and love for her grandmother, the tragic scenes of her Uncle being detained, and the love and care from her parents make for a very moving read. I love the father and his honesty with his daughter and often try to keep him in mind when raising my own daughters. I certainly thought of him when my oldest wanted to know about the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol or when explaining what was happening as Covid began in 2020 and opted to be open and talk to her like an adult when explaining what it meant instead of avoiding it. Satrapi paints a very captivating family story here that is sure to touch anyone’s heart.

But don’t just listen to me rave about this book, pick up a copy as soon as possible. I love it, my whole book club loved it, and I’m guessing you will too.

Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.6k followers
February 18, 2022
This and Maus are the best graphic novels ever and both among the first I read in the genre, and they ruined all the rest of them for me forever.

In short: I recommend!

Bottom line: Not really reviewing this because how much more is there to say!


how am i slumped so hard i can't read a graphic novel...

i give up. i don't know how to read.

update: nevertheless we persist

update to the update: and we succeed.

review to come / 4 stars

currently-reading updates

i love to reread books i haven't reviewed yet. it's the closest i can possibly get to assigning myself homework
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,142 reviews3,565 followers
September 4, 2016
A masterpiece of graphic novels

This edition as the name indicates, collects the complete run of “Persepolis”.

Creative Team:

Creator, Writer & Illustrator: Marjane Satrapi


I remember the days when we traveled around Europe, it was enough to carry an Iranian passport. They rolled out the red carpet. We were rich before. Now as soon as they learn our nationality, they go through everything, as though we were all terrorists. They treat us as though we have the plague.

Persepolis is the masterpiece by Marjane Satrapi, a pseudo-biographical work, illustrating her life since 10 years old (1980) until 24 years old (1994), where she experienced her coming-to-life, in her native Iran, during the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq, along with four years in Europe, and her return to Iran again.

In this graphic novel you will witness many of the convoluted events happening during the decade of the 80s in the Middle East, from the point of view of a brave girl that was living at the heart of the incidents.

Marjane is able to present each topic that she wants to expose in titled parts where you learn about relevant facts of Iranian’s society, its past, its present and its future.

However, what makes unique Persepolis is the brilliant approach by Marjane Satrapi of those events, since while she is fearless to show the brutal side, she is also honest in showing her failures and doubts during growing up, and even she goes to the funny side of life.

Since it’s impossible for any human being to live in constant stressed status, people need to breath, to liberate the weight of their risky existence in many different ways.

People needs to smile, not matter where they live. They need to live.

And Marjane knows that.

Therefore, she masterfully is able to tell her lifestory, full of political episodes and social chapters, but always adding humoristic elements with taste and without ridiculing the seriousness and gravity of the situations.

Anybody can tell a tragedy but…

…a dramedy requires talent, tact and wit.

Brace yourself and meet Persepolis.

Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews36 followers
December 9, 2021
The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis #1-4), Marjane Satrapi, Mattias Ripa (Translator Part I), Blake Ferris (Translator Part 2), Anjali Singh (Translator, Parts 3 and 4)

One volume: Marjane Satrapi's best-selling, internationally acclaimed graphic memoir.

Persepolis is a autobiographical series of comics by Marjane Satrapi that depicts her childhood up to her early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. The title Persepolis is a reference to the ancient capital of the Persian Empire.

Originally published in French, the graphic memoir has been translated to many other languages, including English, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Swedish, Finnish, Georgian, and others. As of 2018, it has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. Persepolis 1 was written in 2000 and Persepolis 2 was written in 2004.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه دسامبر سال 2008 میلادی

عنوان: پرسپولیس؛ نویسنده: مرجان ساتراپی؛ موضوع کتابهای مصور از نویسندگان ایرانی تبار فرانسه - سده21م

پرسپولیس عنوان کتابهای مصوری است؛ که «مرجان ساتراپی»؛ به زبان «فرانسه» نگاشته ‌اند؛ «نیوزویک» از این کتاب با عنوان یکی از ده کتاب برتر ناداستانی دهه ی نخست سده ی بیست و یکم میلادی یاد کرده است؛ نثر ساده و جذاب کتاب، باعث شده که از آن به عنوان متن مناسب برای زبان‌ آموزان «فرانسه» در سطح «آ.یک» نیز نام برده شود؛ «پرسپولیس» به چندین زبان از جمله «انگلیسی»، «اسپانیایی»، «کاتالانی»، «پرتغالی»، «ایتالیایی»، «آلمانی»، «یونانی»، «سوئدی» و «گرجستانی» و ... نیز ترجمه شده‌ است؛ بیش یک میلیون و پانصد هزار نسخه از کتاب در جهان به فروش رفته ‌است؛ «مرجان ساتراپی» به همراه گروهی از فیلمسازان «فرانسوی» و «آمریکایی»، فیلمی انیمیشنی نیز با همین عنوان، از داستان کتاب ساخته ‌اند؛ این فیلم نیز جایزه ی هیئت داوران جشنواره فیلم «کن» را، به خود اختصاص داده است؛ رمان به سبک زندگی‌نامه خود نوشت است، شخصیت اصلی رمان، و راوی داستان، دختری «ایرانی» به نام «مرجان» است؛ «مرجان» دختری است که در جریان «انقلاب ایران»، و بحران جنگ «ایران و عراق»، به تشویق خانواده، از کشور خویش به «اتریش» می‌روند؛ کتاب‌ها روایت جنگ و آوارگی، زندگی مهاجری در «اروپا»، بحران‌های مذهبی و سنتی جامعه ی «ایران»، و رویدادهای «انقلاب و جنگ» هستند، و تاریخ دهه ی پس از جنگ «ایران و عراق» را، از دیدگاه راوی بیان می‌کنند؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 05/11/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 17/09/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,856 followers
January 1, 2023
Real life Middle East Handmaids´tale

Persepolis 1: The Story of a Childhood

An epic tale of sociocultural evolutions, silent revolutions, and never losing hope and trust in progressive, new solutions although backlashes and setbacks are omnipresent and daunting.

Each country has its big, subtle, and socially critical work that is right in the face of the shoals, bigotry, and cognitive dissonances of an established form of government and this is one of the best ones from the lands of One Thousand and One Nights. As always in these cases, the authors´ risk everything by using creativity and art to point the finger at the abysses, malfunctions, and dark sides of systems.

Unique because of the special, cultural background
In other cases and countries, especially democratic Western ones, this would be an average coming of age novel, forced reading if it´s a possibly bad, patriotically idealized writer from this nation, free reading if it´s a really good one with the target audience and style necessities considered, and thereby not acceptable for boring school reading, but Persepolis is different. Rebellion, emancipation, and freedom aren´t just some quarrels with parents, teachers, and conservative uncles and aunts, this is all against the system so that the courage and risk of everyone daring to speak out can´t be compared with Western emo teenage dirtbag goth problems, where there is nothing at stake except possible future psychiatric couch time fun regarding why mummy and daddy didn´t love, understand, and support ones individuality and creativity enough. Compare that to torture prisons and dictatorships, to totalitarianism, and discrimination of all females, and one gets a picture of what first world teenage problems really mean.

POV and authenticity.
Just as the unique, cultural background, the female perspective in this, again, misogynist society makes it extra impressive, irritating, and bizarre, because backlashes come with a special taste of bitterness. Never having something is a different and maybe even worse thing than losing everything that was in range again. Difficult to say if a male, not discriminated author, could or would (have wanted) to write a similar work, or if he would have had the talent to create the same, authentic, emotional masterpiece, but subjectively I don´t think so, because there are (don´t lapidate me, no matter if Western do gooders or jihadists) natural differences in male and female writing, strongly based on interests, audience (show me all the female hard sci-i readers and writers and the male romance equivalents), and yes, of course too, epigenetic conditioning to conform to gender roles and stereotypes. That´s the potentially bad part with discrimination, gender wars, and political correctness gone ultra bonkers. But this would go a bit too far, so let´s expand and get hyper meta towards

Global, political, religious, and, most important, economic reasons.
I tried to read a bit about the geopolitical background, especially regarding resources such as oil
the US and UK playing with manipulative coup god mode in world history, again
the endless beef with Saudi Arabia
, comparable to how different Christian faith´ battle until the end times about how the read holy books, the open or secret influence of other big players such as Russia, China, India, etc., but it´s far too complicated and controversial to get a clear picture and I simply haven´t enough background knowledge to give any competent comment or opinion. Although I assume that I´m not the only one, because to say that this is tricky would be an extreme understatement, especially including all the other US, Russian, Israeli, etc. war and proxy war "humanitarian interventions“ in the whole Middle East over the last decades. Now that´s a messed up constellation one shouldn´t touch with a ten foot pole.

Great transition, let´s faith enter the stage
As so often, it boils down to ideology, no matter if political, economic, or, in this case, religious, but instead of endless agnostic, atheistic, nihilistic, or whatever istic, or philosophical, ethical, sociological, etc. argumentation (and thereby endless debate full of logical fallacies, cognitive dissonance, bias, etc.), one should just compare

Not much to add to that.
Except that I might now, again, be on some more watchlists and blacklists, and the number of countries I could safely visit without being considered a dissident demagogue reduced. Again. Good that I´m a homebody without any need to see the world.

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

As if the Iranian Revolution hadn´t already been bad enough, growing up in a Western country has its flaws too

Because in both worlds, she´s an outsider
But at least she has a group of friends that aren´t integrated too that help her to settle down in a very strange, foreign place (I´m from Austria and have f world privileges). The problem is, it would take much more than just good friends to deal with such a traumatizing past she can´t leave behind alone in a foreign country. So she decides to

Give it another try
This could be seen as a second attempt of fighting the system but, as the first time, it just can´t work. One human against a system mostly just wins in fairytales. Still, this novel is one of the

Most important works showing women suffering under fundamentalism
Because no matter under which flag, symbol, or ideology, discrimination, exploitation, torture, and killing is always the same. Maybe a bit more sophisticated to give it a civilized touch, but the totalitarian approach always stays the same. While other books dealing with certain issues are interesting for relatively small groups of people of a certain age, sexual orientation, political ideology, etc., this one is written for hundreds of millions of women that are suffering. It´s the

Real life Handmaid's tale
If states in Africa and the Middle East were democratized, they would look in shock at a description of a possible, dystopic alternative future, a uchronia of theocratic hardliners smashing progressive emancipation.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
March 23, 2015
Visiting Spain for a conference earlier this month, I impulsively decided to do something about my almost non-existent Spanish. I began by reading the Spanish edition of Le petit prince, which got me started nicely. Now I wanted to try something harder. I had in fact read Persepolis in French not long after it came out, but I remembered very little of it; this would be a proper test of whether I had actually learned anything. I was pleased to find that I could read it! I'm still having to guess a lot of words, and every now and then I found a sentence that made no sense at all, but I could follow the story without difficulties.

The thing which surprised me most was that I found I liked the book better in Spanish than I had in French. After a while, I figured out why: my very uncertain language skills forced me to look carefully at all the pictures, and I realized that I hadn't properly appreciated them first time round. I'd read the book pretty much in one sitting, which didn't do it justice. This time, I gave the graphical aspects the attention they deserved.

But dammit, forget the Spanish and the artwork: it's still the story that wins. Her horror and indignation over the dreadful Iranian republic are so powerfully expressed. There's one episode in particular that I can't get out of my head. She's been characteristically loudmouthed at school. The teachers call her parents, and they tell her very seriously that she must be more careful. Does she know what had happened to the teenage daughter of the man they knew who made false passports?

Marji looks at them.

Well, say her parents, they arrested her. And they sentenced her to death. But, according to Iranian law, one may not put a virgin to death. So she was forcibly married to one of the revolutionary guards, and he deflowered her. And then they could shoot her. But, again according to Iranian law, the groom must give the bride a dowry, and if she is dead he must give it to her parents. So the next day, a representative of the revolutionary guard called on them. And he gave them fifty tumanes - about five dollars. That was the price for her virginity and her life.

I'm sorry, says Marji, stunned. I didn't know.

The truly terrifying thing is that the tone, throughout most of the book, is one of amused irony. As she says in another very powerful passage, when she meets a friend who's been horribly mutilated after serving in the war with Iraq, you can only complain up to a certain point, when the pain is still bearable. After that it makes no sense any more. All you can do is laugh.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,621 reviews988 followers
January 2, 2023
The famous auto-biographical tale of an Iranian woman growing up during the fall of the Shah and the actualisation of the Islamic and cultural revolution. A terrific book, managing to capture the voices of childhood and youth whilst telling the story of living under the Shah and then the fundamentalist regime.

Please note that the author grew up in an upper middle class neighbourhood in a community of Marxist leanings and I would suggest that some of the Iranian history depicted should be taken with a pinch of salt, but ultimately this book is about Marjane, living in a permissive and liberal household and trying to find her identity during some of the most change-ridden times of modern Persian history. The sequences of her student days in Austria were also gripping. Superb book, recommended. 9 out of 12 Four Star read.

2011 read
Profile Image for Casey.
722 reviews59 followers
July 10, 2008
Ugh. I am deeply ambivalent. First, I found the political side fascinating. If you're interested in Iran's history, the graphic novel format is really accessible. However, I really disliked Marjane. I feel a little guilty about this, as she's a real person. While she and her family were proud that she was outspoken, I found her rude and obnoxious. They believed she was raised to be "free." I certainly appreciate their hugely liberal views in such a repressive environment, but their version of "free" felt more like "offensive" and "disrespectful" and "tactless." There are so many instances in this book where Marjane faces conflict, and instead of sticking up for herself in a decent manner, she resorts to calling people prostitutes or bitches or whatever. I never thought I'd be one to criticize profanity or being up-front, but I found that they made Marjane very unsavory.
Profile Image for Mohammed Arabey.
709 reviews5,735 followers
February 9, 2017
ألا يسقط يسقط الانقلابات العسكرية التي تنقلب لفاشية ديكتاتورية؟
ألا يسقط يسقط الأنقلابات الملزقة بالأسلام "الأديان" التي تنقلب لفاشية ديكتاتورية؟
ألا تسقط تسقط الفاشية الديكتاتورية؟

هذا كان حال مرجان سترابي، فتاة صغيرة من أيران في 1979 وقصة عائلتها

وهي تتعلم تاريخ انقلاب الخمسينات..صعود الشاه..ثم ثورة الحرية العدالة الاجتماعية التي تحولت الي ثورة"إسلامية" ثم حكم فاشي ديكتاتوري
"الثـورة الإيرانيـة"

لماذا كل هذا يبدو متشابها؟ لماذا اشعر بكل هذا الديجا فو؟
التاريخ فعلا له وسائله المعقدة ليعيد نفسه...في اي مكان

هو كتاب جبته صدفة رمضان الماضي..شدني غلافه واعلم انه شهيرا..لأكتشف انه كوميكس بعد ان اشتريته
ولأكتشف انه كوميكس بسيط للغاية..ايراني الاصل ..ايراني القصة..ايراني الطابع والتاريخ
لا ترفع توقعاتك عاليا..فهي أبسط أشكال الكوميكس، ومع ذلك الحكاية كأقوي اشكال الروايات الميلودرامية
هل تعلم لماذا؟
لأنه قصة حياة حقيقية

ذكرتني كثيرا بمسلسل "ذات" -المسلسل نفسه اكثر من الرواية المبني عليها- والذي يحكي حكاية بنت من مصر من ميلادها بثورة يوليو 1952 وحتي ثورة 25 يناير2011 -والتي لم يعلم أحد وقتها إلي ما ستؤول عليه
ريفيو رواية ومسلسل ذات

والكتاب علي جزئين
قصة طفولة، حكاية مورجان سترابي، فتاة إيرانية من عائلة كبيرة لم تتم العاشرة عندما اشتعلت الثورة الإيرانية الشهيرة في 1979 وحتي 1984.. تشهد ثورة بلادها ضد الظلم والحكم الاستبدادي الذي بدأ بانقلاب في الخمسينات، ليتم سرقتها و إلصاق إسم الدين عليها ليبدأ عهد جديد اكثر استبدادا،تطرفا وقسوة
وقصة عودة، من الثمانيانت وحتي أوائل التسعينات إبان حرب العراق والكويت.. حيث نتابع تحول الفتاة اثناء دراستها بالخارج إلى مراهقة ثم شابة في رحلة ذهاب للبحث عن النفس...وعودة مرة أخري الي ايران في التسعينات..وقت حرب الخليج

بالرغم من قوة الجزء الأول رغم إنتقال احداثه من الماضي"قبل الثورة" للحاضر"بعد الثورة" في أوله، إلا أن انخفض تقييمي بنقطة لتداعيات الجزء الثاني، فجزء العودة كان متخبطا الي حد كبير-سواء الحبكة او الحياة عاما ولكن لنر كل جزء علي حدة
الجزء الأول: قصة طفولة

مورجان سترابي من عائلة متحررة الي حد كبير، ليس الأمر شاذا هنا… ففي إيران الستينات والسبعينات رغم القمع العسكري من شاه إيران إلا ان التشدد لم يبلغ ماحدث بعد الثورة ال-استغفر الله العظيم-الاسلامية

فتاة بأحلام الطفولة البريئة ظنت انها عندما تكبر يمكنها ان تكون "رسولة" تنشر رسالة الخير والمساواة والعدالة الإجتماعية لمن حولها، مبنية علي ثقافات بلدها وفلسفة رازدشت

كونها من عائلة مثقفة وواعية وميسورة الحال جعلها تعرف الكثير عن تاريخ إيران وحروبها مع العرب والمغول، انقلاب الخمسينات وطغيان الشاه...ظنت عندما وجدت ثورة 79 إنه قد يتحقق فعلا المساواة والعدالة الإجتماعية لتكتشف مدي خداع احلامها الطفولية

من خلال حوالي 20 فصلا ستري قصص أسرية، ثورية، أجزاء كبيرة من شكل الحياة الايرانية قبل وبعد الثورة.. إقحام الدين في الاستبداد والحروب وقتل القاصرين في الصفوف الأمامية في الحروب...لمحات من تاريخ إيران ونقاط التحول السياسية بها
وكيف تم تشويه الدين عن طريق السياسة والأطماع

ستري أيضا الانبهار المعتاد بالثقافة الغربية والأغاني الأجنبية، مايكل جاكسون وفرقة آبا بطريقة أعتقد شبيهة جدا لفترة السبعينات في مصر..فمن من اهلنا لا يعرف خوليو اجلاسياس أو ديميس روسوس او حتي فيلم جون ترافولتا الراقص وبروس لي ملك الترسو الاجنبي؟
ولكنك ستجد كيف صار الحصول علي أشياء كهذه في ايران جريمة عقابها الجلد

اعجبني جدا البراءة، لم يعجبني بعض التصرفات -كبدء التدخين مثلا- ولكنها كانت واقعية بالطبع
هناك جزء شعرت إنه مقحم عن عائلة يهودية بمجرد ظهورهما وانت تدرك انه لغرض -التنوع- فحسب...وأن الجميع يعاني في حالة الحكم الاستبدادي وويلات الحروب
لكني لم أمانع وجوده كثيرا بعكس تنوع ما بالجزء الثاني

الجميل في الأمر هو اسماء الفصول التي احيانا ما تكون شيئا عابرا في الفصل ولكن له رمز ما..أعجبني جدا استخدام الاسماء وبالطبع لا تنس ان اهمه الفصل الاول "الخمار" والذي سيتكرر في الجزء الثاني
ولعل أكثر ما جعلني أمنح هذا الجزء 5 نجوم كاملة هو جمال علاقة الوالدين مع مورجان، وحكاياتها مع جدتها
ولحظة سفرها للنمسا وتوديعها لوالديها أكثر ما أثر بي بشدة

الجزء الثاني : قصة عودة

عند نشر الكتاب لاول مرة تم نشره علي 4 اجزاء، قصة عودة مكونة من جزئين ايضا ولنر
النصف الأول مورجان وتحولها من فتاة في الرابعة عشر الي السادسة عشر...عامان في الخارج تحاول تحقيق نفسها،استكمال تعليمها في بلد يتيح لها التنفس
ورغم طبيعتها المتمردة إلا انها ستحاول رغم صعوبات أخري قد تكون مختلفة شكلا ولكنها تكاد تكون متشابهة مضمونا

اجمل ما بهذا "النصف" هو محاولاتها التأقلم وطبيعة مورجان التي ستصير محببة بسبب معايشتك لها بالجزء الاول
زيارة الأم هي اجمل ما بالجزء الثاني بأكمله، شعور -مرور الزمن، التحول من الطفولة لعالم البالغين

وإن كنت هنا ستجد ان إصرار المؤلفة علي تقديم شخصيات متنوعة بالرواية تحول الي اقحام حقيقي ، فقد استفحل لدرجة تقديم شخصيات مثلية الجنس بلا اي مبرر وان تتقبلهم الام ايضا بسهولة

أصعب ما بهذا الجزء هو ما بعد السادسة عشر، المراهقة والتخبط وانعدام الهوية...وإن كان مؤلما في متابعته إلا انني اري انه مازال واقعيا جدا

أن أكتشافك لذاتك هو ماقد يحررك...ان تفهم نفسك وتتقبلها هو ما سيساعدك علي النجاح

وقد استغرقت تلك المعرفة وقتا طويلا لمورجان لمعرفتها

اما النصف الثاني فهو أواخر شهور مورجان في الخارج إنتهاءا بفصل مسمي بعبقرية "الخمار"، متبوعا بفصول عودتها الي إيران في سن الشباب لتشهد التغيرات -للاصعب- ببلدها
لتكمل دراستها الأكاديمية بالفن...والبحث عن الذات والهوية...في ظل هرمونات الارتباط في مجتمع متشدد لا يخلو من الحياة الماجنة السرية

هذا النصف كان الأسوأ بالنسبة لي، وأعتقد انه يتطلب شجاعة بحق للاعتراف به من جانب المؤلفة
هل تذكر وصفي لعائلة مورجان بالمتحررة، لم أقصد إساءة قدر ما اري ان وصف مورجان بالمنفلتة المتخبطة هو الأصلح لكل هذا النصف والذي بدأ بمنتصف هذا الجزء
قد يكون وصفي هذا بسبب انني قاريء من دولة شرقية ولكن فعلا التحرر فاق الحد بالربع الاخير من الكتاب ثم بدأ التخبط والزواج و و و
قلل هذا كثيرا من تعاطفي مع مورجان وإن زاد من تعاطفي مع الوالدين وتقديرهما رغم تساهلهما الشديد ولكن لا تنكر ان ظروف البلد قادرة فعلا علي تحويل التقي الي فاجر بسبب كل هذا التشدد



هي قصة مورجان ساترابي
والتي بنجاح الرواية وتحويلها لفيلم سينمائي ونجاحها كمؤلفة ومخرجة بالتأكيد تعتبر نها��ة جميلة للرواية
فهي قصة حياتها
هي نفسها

رسالة الرواية ربما إنك قد تكون ضحية مجتمع فاشي متناقض مستبد
ولكن أيضاً انت مسؤول عن إختياراتك...فأحسن الأختيار

سعدت بالنهاية وان كنت مازلت مشفقا علي حال الوالدين...أشفقت عليهم وعلي الكثير من اهل ايران من نيران التعنت والفاشية والقمع
ولكنه الوطن

نهاية بها أمل بالتغيير الذي قد يبدأ بالنفس
بالأخص عندما تعرف -من بعد أن تغلق الرواية- أنها نجحت..بدليل ان الرواية بين يديك..والفيلم نجح في حصد الجوائز من 2007
شجاعة حقيقية بالتأكيد لتكتب كل هذا
بكل هذه الصراحة والوضوح وعدم التكلف..والاعتراف بالعيوب..والتغيير الحقيقي الذي يبدأ كما قلت بالنفس

قد يكون الحرية لها عامل ولكن سوء استخدامها مدمرا بحق

ولكن يصعب عليك ان المجتمعات المستبد حاكمها، المتطرفة فعلا لا تصلح للإبداع، تحقيق الذات
لا تصلح للرخاء
لا تصلح للعيش
لا تصلح للكرامة
لا تصلح للعدالة الإجتماعية

ألا يسقط يسقط….؟

أبدأ بنفسك

محمد العربي
من 20 يوليو 2016
الي 22 يوليو 2016
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
851 reviews3,882 followers
February 15, 2021

~Full review ~ 4.5 stars

Things I didn't know before : The Complete Persepolis was originally written in French. Way to feel dumb as shit in the (French) bookstore, I assure you.

Things I know now : Marjane Satrapi, as a French-Iranian, can't enter the US now. But hey, it's for your "security", all that shit.***

*** I just learned that French-Iranian had been authorized to go to the US with a Visa.

Favorite quote from the whole collection : "As time passed, I grew increasingly aware of the contrast between the official representation of my country and people's real lives, what happened behind doors" (approximate translation by me, I don't own the English version to check)

... because we're at the core of what makes The Complete Persepolis so interesting and, I'll say it, indispensable. For me, the strength of Marjane Satrapi's graphic-novel relies on the insight it offers the reader : where more classic nonfiction books can easily end up as mere juxtapositions of historical events (which is often boring, okay?), The Complete Persepolis successfully breaks the codes by combining Iran's History with Marjane Satrapi's experience. I, for one, believe that we need this kind of insight just as much as history books, because as I said in my review of Rooftops of Tehran, it's way too easy to dehumanize people we know nothing about, to forget the much real people living in the countries that our leaders target.

This is what I mean when I say that there's nothing political anymore in strongly disagreeing with Trump's decisions, especially when it comes to Muslims. At this point, it's not about agreeing on reducing taxes for the rich in order to avoid flight of capital, it's about acknowledging that everything in Western culture participates in feeding our prejudices. Really it's about acknowledging that these prejudices are real and that it's an everyday, conscious work to fight against them.

What fighting prejudices does not mean : It doesn't mean agreeing with everything. It doesn't mean, oh my god, erasing western culture** - and that concept, loved and spread by so many of far right voters is so fucking ridiculous given the fact that we have controlled the narrative for so long, it's not even funny. The "great replacement" so dearly loved by FN voters is merely another way for them to express their islamophobia and show their lack of basic education. Forget me with this shit.

** I'm using "western culture" as a generalization here - I don't believe that all western countries share the *same* culture, far from it.

What fighting prejudices means : it means accepting that different experiences are just as much valid. It means educating yourself, reading about and from people from different cultures. It means rejecting any attempt of categorizing cultures as being good or evil as a whole. It means a lot of listening and maybe less talking.

Trust me, I very much include myself when I say that we have to educate ourselves. The truth is, I have a shit tons of biases. I'm desperately secular, hopelessly Cartesian and very much on the Left spectrum. I've beneficed from my white privilege my whole life. I'm a straight, abled woman from Europe. I will never understand religion - I am interested in religions, but it's not the same thing and it never will. As far as I'm concerned, though, people can believe what they want as long as they don't try to convince me that I should believe and live my life according to thus beliefs. And just to be clear, right now the intolerant people who are being vocals about condemning abortion or LGBTQIA rights in my country are very much Christians.

Nobody asks you to change what you are, but to accept that others aren't the same.

Am I going to screw up and fail to notice hurtful contents in the books I read? Probably, unfortunately. Yet I think that in the end, what baffles me and makes me so sad and so angry is the fact that so many people genuinely do not want to listen, learn and do better.

Everything starts with education, and I'm not saying this because I'm a teacher. Nobody should ever forget that "[we] know one thing; that [we] know nothing".

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
September 3, 2016
I keep promising to write a full review for this but never get around to it. Basically, I read Persepolis for my Gendered Communities course and I think it's one of those rare reads that actually gets better when you study it for the historical, cultural and political context. There are depressingly few Middle Eastern women whose books are read on a large scale so the insight which Persepolis offers into this part of Iran's history is very important. It offers a perspective we don't get to see too often.
Profile Image for Mia Nauca.
124 reviews3,828 followers
December 19, 2017
Hace poco leí el cuento de la criada y me pareció un libro de distopía inconcebible en la actualidad. Sin embargo, leer Persépolis me ha abierto muchísimo la mente, para una mujer occidental es fácil olvidar la realidad que se vive en los países como Irán e Iraq que están sometidos a regímenes religiosos extremistas donde las mujeres no tienen ningún derecho. Ni siquiera pueden correr en público, maquillarse, enseñar los tobillos o las muñecas... es que es tan surreal para mi pensar que eso pasa en el 2017.
Pero hay muchas personas que se rebelan contra el sistema, mucha gente que no esta de acuerdo y que hace una diferencia. Que importante es leer este libro amigos que en forma de novela gráfica se pasa volando.

Profile Image for Lucy.
417 reviews626 followers
December 24, 2018

I wanted to be Justice, Love and the Wrath of God all in one.

An incredibly funny, insightful and moving story told through the form of a graphic novel. This book serves as a memoir of the author, Marjane Satrapi. It is about a brave, young woman in 1980's Iran.

This book highlights the struggles that the Iranian people have had to go through. The changes in their culture, the forming of an Islamic Revolution and its aftermath; Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's childhood. It documents the rise in the Islamic Revolution and those that dissented from these views, the punishments they received. Through Marji's mind and eyes we see the rise of the Islamic Revolution and how this effects both the public and private life of her family. We get to see her rebel in her own ways- fighting for freedom and modernisation, her day-dreaming, her everyday life and struggles, through family turbulence's and her own identity through religion and it's governed customs. Through this book we are taught the histories of both her parents and Grandmothers views of previous era's and how this has changed or impacted from the current one. Marjane Satrapi also paints a vivid picture of what it is like to be a woman in Iran during this time of political and cultural shift.

And so to protect the women from all the potential rapists, they decreed that wearing the veil was obligatory.

At the committee, they didn't have to inform my parents. They could detain me for hours, or for days. I could be whipped.

Marjane Satrapi describes very intimate and frightening accounts of those who do not fit in with the ideals or those who go against it. This often ends up in horror and terror with tragic ends. She also describes how through this political transition, mindsets are influenced and swayed to meet with those in power. For example, universities are closed and schools are taught that the Islamic Revolution is the right way.

To die a martyr is to inject blood into the names of society.

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return documents Satrapi's attendance to schools in Vienna, the rebelling, boys, modernisation and homelessness. It also focuses on her return to Iran. Here the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution is still occurring; with streets re-named after martyr's, exceptionally strict rules placed on women's clothing, the rules governing who she walks with down the street.

I felt as though I were walking through a cemetery.

This book offered a real sense of what it is like as a woman, and what is like for a family in the intense period of time of the Islamic Revolution. I must admit that I had very little knowledge of the history of Iran and it was exciting to develop this, despite the often haunting consequences this revolution had. The book invokes sympathy and empathy for Iranian people and those that suffer. The simplistic drawings in black and white made this story relatable and you could achieve a real perception and awareness of this political and global change. The drawings added to the complexity of the story, however, they were also often very funny too!

This was my first time reading a graphic novel and I was a bit weary of attempting this- but this is just such an amazing book I'll happily approach more in the future.
Profile Image for Coffee&Quasars.
53 reviews5 followers
October 25, 2018
4.3 stars.

This is an exceptionally charming, funny and real account of the Iranian revolution and its aftermath, through the eyes of a young woman who lived through much of it.

I laughed, I cried, I learned things.
Profile Image for leynes.
1,116 reviews3,033 followers
March 2, 2022
REREAD (2022): I decided to reread this graphic memoir last month because I was sick and therefore in the mood for a quick comic book. I enjoyed the first half as much as the first time around, but the second part was lacking in comparison. Check out my individual reviews for more in-depth thoughts: review for book 1 (5 stars) and book 2 (3 stars).

ORIGINAL REVIEW (2018): Persepolis is a graphic autobiography by Marjane Satrapi that depicts her childhood up to her early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. The first part (The Story of a Childhood) depicts the first fourteen years of her life spent in Iran, while the second part (The Story of a Return) focuses on her high school years in Vienna, Austria, including her subsequent return to Iran where she attends college, marries, and later divorces before moving to France.
My mother left me. I’m sure that she understood the misery of my isolation. Even if she kept a straight face and gave nothing away. She left me with a bag of affection that sustained me for several months.
Marjane Satrapi has repeatedly highlighted, through talks about Persepolis, how significant it is for her audience to perceive her tale as relatable. She seeks sympathy, not for herself, but for the Iranian people and those who suffer. The ambiguous and simplistic style of her comic panels reflects this desire, much contrary to the more traditional style of twentieth century comics.

Any reader could be any of these characters, could sympathize with their personal history, could easily find any one or all of Satrapi’s experiences relatable on some level. The very artistic rendering of Satrapi’s graphic memoir permits a creative license on the readers’ behalf to visualize as extravagantly as they’d choose.
I read The Second Sex. Simone explained that if women peed standing up, their perception of life would change. So I tried. It ran lightly down my left leg. It was a little disgusting. Seated, it was much simpler. And, as an Iranian woman, before learning to urinate like a man, I needed to learn to become a liberated and emancipated woman.
Satrapi’s account of the Iranian revolution is told from a unique perspective. She narrates the story from her perspective as a child. She pairs her story with a hand-drawn visual supplement that is reminiscent of a children’s book.  Satrapi doesn’t avoid subjects, but her use of words and image are simplified the way a child would view events. When Satrapi explains the horrific torture that the prisoners of war experience she inserts a childlike perspective: One man was burnt with an iron, and Marjane is pictured looking at the iron her mom is using. The effect of this humanizes horrific events. Also it highlights the unnaturalness of torture by paralleling the intended function of an iron, with its domestic use. This child perspective appeals more to the emotions than political or logistic readers.

I was deeply moved by Marji’s tale. I picked up Persepolis on a whim at my local bookstore (started reading it in the store actually and then finished it late at night in bed because I couldn’t put it out down). I genuinely think that I read this memoir at the perfect time in my life. Usually, I would’ve probably had some issues with the art style due to its overly simplicist nature but it didn’t bother me at all. It fit her narrative so well and was easy on the eyes. The only reason why Persepolis wasn’t a 5-stars-read for me, is the fact that the last quarter fell completely flat. 3/4 of the book are absolutely charming, witty, humorous and relatable. Marji really got under my skin. However, the last quarter didn’t pack a punch at all. Her tone got overly preachy at times and the whole narrative was wrapped up way too quickly.

All in all, Persepolis is a hautingly beautiful and personal story about life in Iran (but also about the reality refugees face in Western countries.) I loved Marji’s honest exploration of timely themes and the insight she gave me into her culture and beliefs.

Favorite Quote: "He sought in me a lost lightheartedness. And I sought in him a war which I had escaped."
Profile Image for Rowena.
501 reviews2,517 followers
April 19, 2014
This was brilliant: a graphic novel depicting the coming-of-age of a young Iranian girl living in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, who is eventually sent to live in Austria for 4 years for her safety. It shows the horrors of living in a war-torn nation, as well as how terrifying it must be to live in a country run by religious fundamentalists/fanatics. The Muslim leaders recruited 14 year old boys in the war effort, closed down schools, targeted intelligent people and women wearing jeans and nail polish...

As a woman, the sexist views of the Islamists made me angry. One panel shows an Islamist on television saying "Women's hair emanates rays that excite men. That's why women should cover their hair." If that isn't the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard :/

This was a very raw and candid portrayal of life. Satrapi didn't really try to sugarcoat anything. I liked the precocious child, Marji, who was trying to understand the world that was going on around her and wasn't scared of questioning the hypocrisies she witnessed. And her self-realization as she tried to determine her identity in Austria and when she went back to Iran and was perceived as an outsider and a worldly woman also held my attention.

It made me think of people,especially children, living in other war-torn places such as Syria, what must they be going through everyday? What must they be witnessing? Torture, death etc? How can someone get over that?

Definitely a must-read for everyone.

Disclaimer: This book isn't anti-Islam, it's anti-fundamentalist. Satrapi mentioned how fundamentalists in every religion are dangerous, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Profile Image for Thomas.
1,521 reviews9,007 followers
January 16, 2021
A moving memoir about Marjane Satrapi’s experience as a young girl growing up during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. I enjoyed a lot of the themes in Persepolis, including the power of political activism and staying true to your values, the perniciousness and pervasiveness of sexism, and the destabilizing effects of war on family and community. Satrapi’s vulnerable sharing about her rough period with mental health – when she moved to Austria and then moved back – felt like a compelling account of how immigration and acculturative stress can disrupt the psyche. The most riveting part of Persepolis centered on Satrapi’s own voice. From her childhood to her early adulthood as a woman, she acted in alignment with her convictions and spoke out even if her beliefs defied societal norms. A courageous woman and journey, detours she took and all.
Profile Image for Repellent Boy.
503 reviews524 followers
January 19, 2020
Persépolis es ese tipo de libros a los que uno se acerca con miedo. Miedo a causa de la enorme exposición que ha tenido. ¿Valdrá la pena? ��Será merecida su buena fama? ¿O será solo buena promoción? Y la respuesta es que merece cada buena crítica. Cada página es oro.

A través de la vida de la autora, vamos a hacer un repaso de la historia de su país, Irán. Empezando por un breve relato de los años de historia que arrastra: su origen como el gran imperio persa, las multiples invasiones de diferentes dinastías, las diferentes religiones por las que ha pasado... Hasta llegar a la inestabilidad actual de Irán. El golpe de estado del 79, desembocó en una guerra que duró 8 años que trajo consigo el retroceso de la sociedad, y que, como no, afectó principalmente a las mujeres. Sin libertad para salir solas, ser tapadas de pies acabeza por un velo, que su valía vaya en función al marido que tengan...

Este cómic es una joyita y todo lo que critica y muestra es tan duro, como realista. En primer lugar destaca el machismo. La autora, una fiel defensora de los derechos de la mujer, crece en una familia progresista y durante toda su vida lucha por conseguir esa igualdad que se resiste a llegar. Además, siendo doblemente valiente, ya que la mujer está en peligro continuo en Irán. Por otra parte, hay una gran crítica a la falta de cumplimiento de los mínimos derechos humanos. El poderoso siempre vulnera los derechos del pobre. El clasismo está latente. Hace una descripción bastante acertada y crítica de la religión, o más bien, del uso que la gente le da. Ya sea esta una árabe o cristiana. El fanatismo religioso, es igual de malo sin importar de cual se trate.

Y, además, una de las críticas más necesarias y que a occidente más le cuesta admitir y entender es que, los países tercermundistas existen, gracias a que los países del primer mundo nos aprovechamos de sus recursos y su falta de medios para explotarlos. Para que nosotros seamos ricos, ellos tienen que ser pobres. Y gran parte de las guerras que existen por esos lugares, tienen la marca de occidente. Ellos son los que se lucran. Y me parece super imporante que este cómic llegue a todas las manos posibles, para que eso se comprenda de una vez.
En definitiva un pedazo de 5 estrellas, y porque no le puedo poner 50.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,097 reviews17.7k followers
March 2, 2022
There's so much I love about this graphic novel. Persepolis is beautiful and tragic and amusing and emotionally real. It's probably the single best book I read in middle school.

This is so much more than just a politically relevant story. It's a story of a specific teenage girl growing up in 1979-1985 Iran, not of every Iranian woman, and it never tries to be everyone's story. Marjane Satrapi is such an incredible narrator; she has flaws and makes mistakes and she allows her memoir to explore those flaws. It's easy to impress upon her character and follow her growth, even when you disagree with her choices.

This is definitely a standout among graphic novels and literary fiction. Highly recommended.

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Profile Image for Sara.
245 reviews30 followers
January 25, 2008
One of the things I loved about this book was Marjane's very individual voice and how it transformed from the start of the book when she is 10 to the end, when she is 22. Ten-year-old Marjane, by the way, is about the most awesome kid I have encountered in print. She reminded me of Harper Lee's Scout, except Marjane was cuter and more hilarious. Also, more political.

Most readers are unlikely to be really conversant in 20th Iranian political history and it is absolutely fascinating to be introduced to the topic through the eyes of an impressionable child, an emotional teenager and a jaded young adult. Marjane tells her story in an intense, honest, funny and heartbreaking fashion.

The style of art is beautiful and everything is drawn in a kind of a kooky way. I though that the style reinforced that this whole story comes from one young person's distinct point of view. As in all graphic novels, the images are just as potent, if not more, than the plot itself and this is no exception.

"Persepolis" is the best book I can think of to introduce the uninitiated to the world of graphic novels. The subject matter is the polar opposite of the superhero comic stereotype and the intense, skillful storytelling will captivate even the mots doubting reader.

I adored it.
Profile Image for Aubrey.
1,361 reviews795 followers
December 17, 2015

My first memories of Iraq and Iran consist of mixing the names up, having nothing more than the vague knowledge from television talkers that someone was fighting someone and we, the United States, were fighting everyone. Persia was where my best friend in first grade was from, a place she once told me didn't exist anymore before she changed schools in third grade and we completely lost contact with each other. The intervening years between then and now filled up with reports of war and terrorism and an overwhelming fear mongering, leaving me with the feeling I was being force fed bullshit at such an insidious level that I couldn't even trust myself to seek out the least poisoned method of discovering the other side of the story. Since upgrading the status of literature in my life from hobby to livelihood, I've had more time to get down to the bottom of Introduction to Iran 101 - Autodidact Style entry on the neverending Lit bucket list, and I have to say, I can't imagine a better way than this book.

Graphic novel, really, but with Watchmen on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list and The Complete Maus regularly touted as a modern classic, the faster the academic niches of capital L Literature come to terms with the more than capable qualities of the Graphic Novel in terms of Meaning and Importance and yadda yadda yadda, the better. Three hundred years ago it was the novel in Europe, two millenia ago it was the writing things down in general in Greece,, and really, if you can find a memoir that is erudite as it is hilarious as it is heartbreaking as it is politically conscious in a social justice manner as it is life affirming as it is of a country that has for decades been horrendously misconstrued six ways to Sunday by the United States as this one, please, let me know.
Member of the Guardians of the Revolution (MGR): Madam, why were you running?
Marjane: I'm very late! I was running to catch my bus.
MGR: Yes..but...when you run, your behind makes movements that are...how do you say...obscene!

I yelled so loudly that they didn't even arrest me.
One of the first popular conceptions that comes to my mind when I think on Iran is how bad the women in that country have it. Now, the Wikipedia page for Rape culture states: According to Michael Parenti, rape culture manifests through the acceptance of rapes as an everyday occurrence, and even a male prerogative. It can be exacerbated by police apathy in handling rape cases, as well as victim blaming, reluctance by the authorities to go against patriarchial cultural norms, as well as fears of stigmatization from rape victims and their families. That description is the United States, complete with dress codes, lack of sexual education regarding consent, incidents such as Steubenville and statistics such as 1 in 5 women in universities have been raped at some point during their enrollment. This commentary has nothing to do xenophobia of the civilized countries of the so called West, or with Iran consisting of all kinds of people worn down by death and fear and love of their homeland and culture being controlled by Persian fundamentalists, or the CIA's involvement in taking down countries so as to slake the US's lust for oil, or the fundamental differences between Iran and Iraq and Kuwait and all those other countries media crews love to lump together and poke at, but it does have to do with my basis for relating with Marjane and her growth from child to adult. In comparison to the big picture of her story, it's not much, but it is enough to get me off my commonly accepted high horse of US superiority and start listening.
Marjane: 'I don't want to leave the country right away.'
Reza: 'It's because you are still nostalgic. You'll see, a year from now people will disgust you. Always interfering in things that don't concern them.'
Marjane: 'Maybe so, but in the West you can collapse in the street and no one will give you a hand.'
It's a crying shame that it took me this long to read a work that wonderfully cuts to the heart of that vague sensationalism that is the US's treatment of the Middle East. It's an even greater shame that this sort of work is a rare breed in the field of public perception. However, while it may have taken me the length of my own path from childhood to adulthood to experience a good introduction to the reality of things, a start in the right direction is a start.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,992 followers
August 8, 2016
Graphic novel was the perfect medium for this story. I am not saying I would not have enjoyed it if it had been prose, but Satrapi's words and images together drew me in right away and I flew through the story.

This is another important story from a region with lots of important stories to tell. The theme is that we are all people even though we are often defined by our government, media, religion, etc. We cannot truly know who someone is without meeting them in person. It is also interesting to see that people who we think are completely different may have more in common with us than we think.

While this may not be your typical super hero, monster fighting, graphic novel - I think a wide variety of people will enjoy the story. And, you will definitely learn something new!
Profile Image for new_user.
238 reviews191 followers
April 26, 2009
I think this is will be more response than review. Satrapi's Persepolis fulfills its purpose as a memoir, but I will tell you right from the start, that it is indeed overhyped, particularly if you have read the rave critical reviews. Perhaps, since the field of graphic novels as memoirs is relatively new, a work like this could be called ground-breaking. Persepolis as a memoir is an interesting read. I say this only as a result of having read Part Two of this book, The Story of a Return . If I had read The Story of a Childhood alone, I probably would not have liked this book at all.

As a memoir, her account of her childhood is biased politically. I'm speaking of Iranian politics and social affairs -even history- rather than any foreign policy. Satrapi would like to paint herself as an educated, superior specimen of progressive thought, but to be frank, one can embody all of her views in two words: westernism and nationalism. She worships "punk" and calls her family "avant-garde." She considers herself the very spirit of Iranian society, the last bastion of reason in her country, but she goes to a French school and adopts Western, dress and idols. She does not seem very avant-garde to me. She seems to be the typical Eastern child who envies the Western one. I questioned at times whether she could truly be proud of her heritage-- or simply what she thought to be her heritage. I didn't see that adopting European principles or dress was any more or less admirable than adopting Arab ones. Even when she reads, she reads only foreign philosophers. Her patriotism seems a shell.

This is precisely why I was skeptical-- because any book praised by a mass of American critics generally affirms American values, American superiority (the rest of the world is backwards) and/or American-approved values. Such a work will generally portray a one-sided view of the culture in question, i.e. the approved view, as this one does. In fact, I'm finding there is a slew of Iranian authors jumping on the bandwagon of vilifying Iran (to an all too receptive audience) and glorifying everything Western.

In the introduction, she writes "...this old and great civilization," and I have to wonder which civilization she means since she laments that so much culture has been imposed on Iranians. What is essentially Iranian? Zoroastrianism? She doesn't strike me as Zoroastrian. Satrapi fails to consider the dynamics and nature of culture, to adopt, borrow, and grow. That is progress. Satrapi writes of Iran, it "...has been discussed mostly in connection with fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism. As an Iranian who has lived more than half my life in Iran, I know that this image is far from the truth."

In fact, Satrapi does nothing to negate this view. She simply replaces it with a new paradigm, all religious Iranians are fanatics. The rest adopt Western customs; they're civilized. This is not debunking misperceptions, it's only espousing the latest Western policy: non-religious Easterners are acceptable. She does nothing to help her people here. The book speaks only in the briefest way (a line or two) about American relations, so do not be concerned about any bias in that regard.

So if we call the first part Politics, the second part -the book is really not complete without it- is more honest. In The Story of a Return, she speaks of her experiences as an immigrant in Europe, and these strike me as less politicized and more genuine. As for her return, we know that Satrapi returned only to say goodbye. She is an expatriate in Paris, living the culture that she so worshiped as a child.

That said, as a memoir, this book is pretty interesting and does indeed describe the forces that shaped this woman. The iconic, stylized, almost childlike art cushions the narrative, so that the political content is less threatening. It's cute. And it suits the tone of the book, which is fanciful and ostensibly a protest against a black and white world (though Satrapi is a little rigid herself).

It's worth a read if you have some spare time. It was better than I expected after reading the first half, but it won't be on my Best Of list anytime soon.
Profile Image for Carlos De Eguiluz.
226 reviews192 followers
July 3, 2017
Marjane Satrapi nos cuenta su historia en "Persepolis", una poderosa autobiografía que transmite diversas y profundas emociones; nos introduce a un escenario caótico y dramático pero aún pudiendo tornar su obra depresiva y desolada, evita la victimización por medio del humor y algunas veces, el sarcasmo. Nos narra su perspectiva, y también su ideología que evoluciona constante y progresivamente conforme se avanza en la lectura.

La historia se divide en cuatro partes; la primera nos narra sus años ingenuos e infantes, en los que sus pensamientos son los de una niña dividida entre dos mundos: el que le exponen sus padres liberales y el que le presenta su escuela y su religión. La segunda, nos introduce en su pensamiento influenciado por algunas lecturas, el paso del tiempo y la complejidad que su ambiente representaba. La tercera, su vida fuera de su entorno conocido y su constante necesidad de encajar dada su falta de identidad; que se ve influenciada por el movimiento punk. Finalmente llegamos a la cuarta y una de las dos mejores partes, donde nos encontramos a una mujer completa en busca de la emancipación y la libertad.

"Persepolis" es perfecta, pues llega a enseñarnos mucho en muy poco. Expone la censura, el machismo y la opresión en la Irán durante el tiempo de los Guardianes de la Revolución.

Sin duda alguna, un libro esencial para aquellos que pretenden expandir su mente y aprender sobre temas realmente importantes.

Personalmente, de lo mejor de mi año. Y eso que he leído cosas demasiado buenas.


"Quería ser la justicia, el amor y la cólera de Dios."

"La revolución es cómo una bicicleta; cuando las ruedas dejan de moverse, se cae."

"Para despertarme, me compraron libros."

"Para que una revolución triunfe, todo el pueblo debe estar implicado."

"Me repugna que la gente esté condenada a un destino oscuro sólo por su clase social."

"Ha salido la gente cargando el cuerpo de un hombre joven al que había matado el ejército. Lo aclamaban como a un mártir."

"Entonces me di cuenta de que no sabía nada. Leí todos los libros que pude."

"El motivo de mi verguenza y la revolución es el mismo: la diferencia de clase social."

"La poítica no se mezcla con los sentimientos."

"¡La libertad tiene un precio!"

"Hacer justicia no es cosa tuya ni mía, diría, incluso, que hay que saber perdonar."

"A veces es duro aceptar la verdad.
Nadie acepta la verdad."

"Al llegar la noche tenía un diabólico sentimiento de poder... Pero no duró mucho. Resultaba agobiante."

"La gente mala es peligrosa, pero también lo es perdonarles."

"La justicia es la base de la democracia. Los hombres deben de ser iguales ante los ojos de la ley."

"La memoria de la familia no debe perderse. Aunque no sea fácil para ti, aunque no lo entiendas todo."


"Rápidamente la manera de vestir se convirtió en una cuestión ideológica."

"No sólo había cambiado el gobierno. La gente también cambiaba."

"¡Como mujer, es ahora cuando debe aprender a defender sus derechos!"

"¡Bombas, cohetes y cañones no cambiarán nuestras opiniones!"

"La guerra siempre te coge desprevenido."

"—¿No tienes juguetes?
—No, ya soy mayor. Tengo libros."

"Cualquier pretexto era bueno para reírse."

"—Si los pelos son tan excitantes como dice, ¡¿Por qué no se depila el bigote?!"

"Después de las bombas y del miedo instintivo a la muerte, recuperas la razón. Piensas en las víctimas y te invade otro tipo de angustia."

"A pesar de todo, los jóvenes seguían la moda a riesgo de ser arrestados."

"Morir como mártir es inyectar sangre en las venas de la sociedad."

"No existe grito en el mundo que hubiera podido aliviar el sufrimiento y la cólera que sentía."

"—En la vida encontrarás a muchos imbéciles. Si te hieren, piensa que es su estupidez la que les empuja a hacerte daño. Así evitaras responder a su maldad. Porque no hay nada peor en el mundo que el rencor y la venganza... mantén siempre tu dignidad, tu integridad y la fidelidad a ti misma."

"No hay nada más triste que las despedidas. Son un poco como la muerte."


"Para educarme, era preciso que entendiera todo. Empezado por mí: yo, Marji, como mujer."

"Antes de orinar como un hombre tenía que convertirme en una mujer liberada y emancipada."

"Todas las religiones tienen sus extremistas."

"Leer no era suficiente. Aún me faltaba mucho para integrarme."

"—La vida es sufrimiento. Todo es la nada, por lo tanto, la vida es la nada. Cuando un hombre toma conciencia de este vacío, sólo puede vivir como los gusanos, inventando juegos de dirigentes dirigidos para olvidar su fragilidad."

"Cuanto más esfuerzos hacía para integrarme, más tenía la impresión de estar alejándome de mi cultura, de estar traicionando a mis padres y a mis raíces, de entrar en un juego que no era el mío."

"Quería olvidarlo todo, hacer desaparecer mi pasado, pero mi subconsciente me tenía atrapada."

"En tiempo de guerra no sirve de nada construir."

"Ahora hace falta que hagas un esfuerzo, que llegues a ser alguien. Me da igual lo que acabes haciendo, sólo procura ser la mejor. Aunque seas bailarina en un cabaret, siempre es mejor bailar en el lido que en un tugurio."

"Le di mi palabra pero era demasiado joven para mantenerla. Este amor casto me frustró más de lo que me ayudó. Quería amar y ser amada de verdad."

"Las cosas llegan siempre cuando menos las esperas. Aquello era la felicidad."

"Ese lado decadente que tanto le había gustado, acabó irritándolo profundamente."

"La noche trae el consuelo."

"Creo que prefería ponerme en grave peligro que afrontar mi vergüenza. La vergüenza de no haberme convertido en nada, la vergüenza por no haber conseguido que mis padres estuvieran orgullosos después de tanto sacrificio. La vergüenza de haberme convertido en una mediocre nihilista."

"Cogí mis cosas...
Volví a ponerme el pañuelo...
Y se fueron a tomar el viento mis libertades individuales y sociales..."


"Cuando te prohiben algo, adquiere una importancia desproporcionada. Más adelante, me dí cuenta de que el hecho de maquillarse y querer vivir como occidentales era un acto de resistencia por su parte."

"Uno sólo puede sentir autocompasión cuando las penas son soportables. Una vez superado ese límite, la única forma de soportar lo insoportable es reírse de ello."

"En cuanto desaparecía el efecto de los comprimidos, volvía a ser consciente de mi angustia. Mi desgracia se resumía en una frase: yo no era nada. Era una occidental en Irán y una iraní en occidente. No tenía identidad alguna. Ni siquiera sabía por qué vivía."

"Es muy difícil matarse con un cuchillo de fruta. Las armas blancas no eran lo mío."

"Cuanto más se mostraba una mujer, más progresista y moderna era."

"¿La religión defiende nuestra integridad física o simplemente se opone a la moda?"

"El miedo es lo que nos hace perder nuestra conciencia, también es lo que nos convierte en cobardes."

"Cuando se tiene miedo, se pierde la capacidad de análisis y de reflexión. Nuestro pavor nos paraliza, por eso el miedo ha sido siempre el motor de represión de todas las dictaduras."

"—¡Un artista debe desafiar la ley!"

"—La libertad de expresión se paga cara hoy en día."

"—¡No sólo nos aplasta el gobierno, sino también el peso de nuestras tradiciones!"

"La libertad tenía un precio..."
Profile Image for Warda.
1,209 reviews19.7k followers
April 20, 2020
A semi-autobiographical book, this story offered such great insight into the history of Iran, particularly during the 1950s all the way through to the 80s, covering the Islamic revolution, the war with Iraq and the invasion of the West. It's a story about a young girl growing up during that particular time period and it follows her journey throughout.

The language is simple, blunt and effective. It highlighted the danger and recklessness when religion (Islam, in this case) is interpreted in ones own way. When there's no sense of balance (as Islam teaches) and the faith is practised in an ignorant, overzealous manner, driving the person to the point of absolute absurdity. For example, thinking that there's a need of having police that patrol the streets, in order to keep people's behaviours and moral compass in check. Because they have convinced themselves that practising the faith will be better established this way. There's a scene in the book where the protagonist, Marjane, is stopped by those so called policemen, because she was running. She was in a hurry (as if some kind of justification is needed for this) but they asked her to stop running because of the way her backside would move when she would run. There are so many points where this book just makes you genuinely angry!

On the flip-side, Satrapi calls out the West for its manipulation of invading Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, media outlets for portraying a single narrative and the danger of it, as it takes away the complexity of a situation, which in turn forces you to dehumanise them of everything, leading to inequality. All for the sake of destruction and power.

But this book isn't preachy. I loved the historical aspect to it, however, it covers Marjane's childhood to early teens, growing up in Iran, having to be moved to Austria by her parents, because they want a better life for her, being an outcast in a society, an immigrant, and the identity and psychological issues that it can lead to.

Incredibly insightful read!
Profile Image for Sv.
322 reviews109 followers
August 2, 2015
İdeolojik yapının nasıl değiştirilebileceğini, bir ülkede yönetimi halkın hiçbir şeye karışmasına fırsat vermeden sadece devlete bırakmanın ne demek olduğunu, erkek egemen toplumun insan hayatına karışmasının sonucunda nelerin kısıtlanacağını, bu kısıtlamalar doğrultusunda sanatın nasıl yok olacağını, din diye tutturup dini en çok suistimal edenlerin pisliklerini ve din ile toplumun nasıl uyutulabileceğini, başkalarının düşüncelerine, yaşam biçimine ve tercihlerine saygının ne kadar önemli olduğunu iyi bilen İran halkının, İranlı Marjene'nin romanı... Ne yazık ki çoğu açıdan Türkiye'nin romanı.

Tüm bunların yanı sıra batının o ahlak yozlaşmasına da mükemmel değinir. Hele bunu son derece geleneksel bir toplumdan gelen Marji'den seyretmek, 'bizi' görmemi sağladı. Yazar bununla amacının kendi ülkesini veya dinini kötülemek olmadığını net bir şekilde gösteriyor. Zaten kendisinin de dediği gibi, Marjane İran'ı seviyor. Bu noktada kendime geliyorum; Çoğu kez söylenirim 'Türkiye'den nefret ediyorum!' diye. Sonrasında da hep aynı şeyler dolaşır zihnimde 'Kendini kandırma! Sen Türkiye'den değil, baştakilerin zihniyetinden ve bu zihniyet doğrultusunda değişen fikirlerden nefret ediyorsun.' diye. Öyledir de... O yüzden, şu an bu raddede değiliz belki de ama, çok şey buldum kendimden bu kitapta.

Değindiği konular vs. her şey bir yana olaylara verilen tepkiler, düşünceler çok bizden. Savaşın etkileri... savaşta din, dil, renk gözetilemeyeceğine de değiniyor. Ve tüm bunları yaparken o esprili dilinden de bir şey kaybetmiyor.

Bazı kesimlere ağır gelecek, Tunus'ta filminin televizyonlarda yayımlanmasından ötürü radikal İslamcı kesimin günlerce ayaklanmasına, içlerindeki nefreti şiddetle (her zamanki gibi) kusmalarına sebebiyet verecek kadar gerçek, İran'da baskısı yapılamayacak kadar sert, bazı resimlerini paylaşsam bana dinsiz yaftası yapıştırılarak hakaretler edilecek kadar da doğru bir kitap.

Mutlaka hayatınızdan geçsin.
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