Framing the “Minor” in Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis
Satrapi’s work illustrates, on various levels, current debates in the profession surrounding the boundaries of twenty-first-century French and Francophone studies. For example, her texts both directly and indirectly treat in varying degree issues concerning fragmented societies and cultures; intermedial or splintering forms of artistic and cultural production; political and ethnographic boundary transgression; and continuities and differences in racial, sexual, and gender consciousness. These issues are all at the forefront in calls for papers from recent preeminent conferences in the field; including but not limited to the 2009 Modern Language Association Annual Meeting and the 2009 20th- and 21st-Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium. Furthermore, Satrapi’s artistic sensibilities and uncompromising storytelling or narrative talents complicate previous thinking and discussion of the cinematic genre of animation and its generally-accepted categorization as a so-called “minor genre” or “minor cinema” in the fields of film and cultural studies. In relation to Satrapi and Persepolis, it is this ‘‘emergence of the minor’s inherent complexity and multiplicity’’—as well as her ‘‘creative inventions’’ and ‘‘innovative interference’’—that showcase how this narrative has the potential to (re)frame our construction and understanding of literature, comics, cinema, auto/biography, ‘‘culture,’’ and storytelling as well as reposition how we may come to think of ‘‘minor genres.’’
This article is published as Weber-Feve, S.,‘Framing the “Minor” in Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s Persepolis. Contemporary French & Francophone Studies; 2011) 15.3, 321-328. Doi: 10.1080/17409292.2011.577617. Posted with permission.