Marjane Satrapi

This morning, a fascinating interview on NPR’s Morning Edition with Marjane Satrapi, about the movie of her graphic novel Chicken With Plums [the title is about food]. I’d been meaning to post about her Persepolis books, which deal with (among other things) cultural and linguistic divides. Along the way, another bit on taboo language in the NYT.

Wikipedia on Satrapi:

Marjane Satrapi … (born 22 November 1969 in Rasht, Iran) is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novelist, illustrator, animated film director, and children’s book author. Apart from her native language Persian, she speaks English, Swedish, German, French and Italian [a tribute to the complex story of her life].

… Satrapi’s career began in earnest when she met David Beauchard, a French comics artist who became her mentor and teacher. Satrapi became famous worldwide because of her critically acclaimed autobiographical graphic novels, originally published in French in four parts in 2000–2003 and in English translation in two parts in 2003 and 2004, respectively, as Persepolis and Persepolis 2, which describe her childhood in Iran and her adolescence in Europe. Persepolis won the Angoulême Coup de Coeur Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. Her later publication, Embroideries (Broderies) was also nominated for the Angoulême Album of the Year award in 2003, an award which was won by her most recent novel, Chicken with Plums (Poulet aux prunes). She has also contributed to the Op-Ed section of The New York Times.

Persepolis was adapted into an animated film of the same name which debuted at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in May 2007 and shared a Special Jury Prize with Silent Light (Luz silenciosa) by Carlos Reygadas. Co-written and co-directed by Satrapi and director Vincent Paronnaud, the French-language picture stars the voices of Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux, and Simon Abkarian. The English version, starring the voices of Gena Rowlands, Sean Penn, and Iggy Pop, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in January 2008.

… Satrapi and Paronnaud continued their successful collaboration with a second film, a live-action adaptation of Chicken with Plums, released in late 2011.

From a NYT on-line slideshow on Satrapi, a characteristic page from Persepolis, about adjusting to life in Europe:

Here we see Marji coping with a pretentious pseud. Towards the end of the page, we see her judgment on him in a thought bubble (while smiling, widely but falsely): “asshole”.

Note that this is on-line. You can find other occurrences of asshole on the paper’s website (in reviews of the 2009 movie Asshole, for instance), but in general on its print pages the paper avoids both the word and the ostentatious avoidance A-word (see here).

Still, every so often one slips through, as in this one from April (in a quote):

[George] Zimmerman told the dispatcher that this “suspicious guy” was in his late teens, with something in his hands. He asked how long it would be before an officer arrived, because “these assholes, they always get away.”

It’s so hard to be consistently respectable.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: