Monday, March 31, 2008

Sad, sad life

Yesterday, I picked up a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, whose memoirs I enjoyed reading. It's called, as you can see, Chicken with Plums, and no it's not a piece of culinary writing. It's about the life and times of an Iranian musician, a real great artist, called Nasser Ali Khan.

It's mostly set in Nasser Ali's room, where he lay down for eight days and never got up again. Satrapi chronicles the eight days (seven, actually, because he was goners by the eighth) and moves forward and backward in time to tell the story in the way only the graphic form (and maybe John Irving) can pull off.

What's so sad about this character is not only had he lost the two greatest loves in his life (the woman he loved [Irane] and the music he spent his whole life playing) but he also just gave up on life altogether. Even the Angel of Death came up to him and told him, "You know, it's not your time yet, but it's too late to go back now."

Tragic hero? Perhaps. But though this book shows the great passion of one man, it also expresses the great loss of a life given up...just because one got too tired to live it. People have their reasons for jumping the ship and these are reasons most won't ever understand. But this just goes to show that more compassion should be given to them, and less complaints. No life means less than any great love lost.

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