Sunday, January 7, 2007

Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi

Completed 1/6/07

I love Marjane Satrapi's books. Her autobiographical graphic novels, Persepolis and Persepolis 2 are an amazing use of the comic form. Her third graphic novel Embroderies is actually my favorite as it focuses on the women of her family and it so easy to see the threads that tie women together all over the world. I was greatly looking forward to her fourth graphic novel Chicken with Plums, sadly I was disappointed.

Chicken with Plums is Satrapi's take on a family legend. An uncle of hers, who died long before she was born, was a musician. It was said that he simply took to his bed and gave up living. Satrapi takes this story and creates a story around it to try explain why this man would do such a thing.

Frankly I never did understand. He seemed to have lost his muse it's true but he was not very likable so I didn't care very much about that. It seemed to me that he didn't lose his inspiration as much as he lost a crutch he used for it. Perhaps Satrapi has a difficult time understanding his motivations as well and that is why she felt a need to explore the situation. Unfortunately nothing in the story made me feel for this man, nor to understand his motivations.

If she was seeking to shed light on this odd event, she still left me in the dark.

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