AuthorsDad Mohammadi, Mersedeh
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AbstractThis thesis reclaims the analysis of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. It is mindful of analysis of the stereotypical, and partial tendencies of orientalist representations of Satrapi’s work by both Iranian officials and “Western” media and readership. Themes are detected from this analysis and pertain to the message and intention of the author to create her work. The intentio lectoris1 (i.e. what audiences believe or led to believe) proposed that orientalist paradigms present the meaning of the work or Satrapi’s agenda, i.e. the intentio auctoris. Persepolis has been enthusiastically received all around the world, except in Iran. It has been described and interpreted as the critique of a courageous girl against the foundations of the Iranian Islamic Republic. Notwithstanding the success, the graphic novel and the animated movie derived from it in 2007 have been banned by the Iranian government, and subsequently Marjane Satrapi has been refused entry into the country. The polarised reception of Satrapi’s work in Iran and worldwide, is contextualised within (neo) orientalist critique. I detect in these receptions both potentials and problems. Reclaiming aspects of Persepolis’ analysis that have been excluded from and therefore devalued by external agencies is affirmed as a necessary and important contribution. However, I note that the overwhelming reluctance amongst “Western” media and news reporters to speak of Satrapi’s dual and neutral position, or to grasp at specificity her intentio auctoris, prevents us from a thorough discussion of their analysis. Satrapi’s work is ultimately left in the hands of clichés. I attempt to analyse Persepolis in such a way that it not only affirms rationality, fluidity, and duality, but also offers new and beneficial ways to argue Satrapi’s position and intention. My thesis is thus partly rooted in a feminist standpoint perspective to give voice to Satrapi’s agenda. What is more, it converses with similar restrictive regulations and contextualises them within an analysis of selected post-revolutionary autobiographical literature. My ultimate goal is to analyse the Iranian position towards Persepolis by making sense of the theological and political thought of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution, and the concept of velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurists) and the national and international responses to it in a way in which to take and transform the representation of Persepolis and Iranian culture consequently. This is done by explaining the current Iranian situation and Iranian responses to internal and external threats. Theological analyses and the explication of some of the historical complexities affecting modern Iran (especially after the revolution) would be beneficial along the way.
CitationDad Mohammadi, M. (2016). Reading more than Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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