Help finding "Dialectic Materialism" comic book
February 16, 2005 10:47 AM   Subscribe

While some of us as children were reading Life is Hell and Mad Magazine, Marjane Satrapi was reading comic books on Marxist theory. In her book Persepolis she mentions her favorite comic book as being titled Dialectic Materialism. I've also seen this book referred to as Dialectic Materialism for Children but can't find it anywhere. Has anyone heard of it or know where I can find a copy?
posted by rokabiri to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Was it maybe this volume of the Little Lenin series? I can't find any infromation saying the Little Lenins were for children, or at least heavily illustrated, but that's what I'm vaguely recalling.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:55 AM on February 16, 2005

I love Persepolis, both the first and second volume. I'm bringing them to my book club to show how amazing and educational and entertaining graphic novels can be.

I don't have an answer for you, but she was asked about that comic book in this interview with Powell's, and she said it was the only comic book she ever had. So I guess from that that it is in fact real, which was something I wasn't sure of before.
posted by GaelFC at 11:12 AM on February 16, 2005

Could it be something that wasn't published in English? (I'm currently reading Vol. 1 right now).
posted by drezdn at 9:57 PM on February 16, 2005

I've seen this. I'm reasonably sure it's the same book, but the title is actually Marx for Beginners; it's been around since 1976. At Amazon you can browse the rest of the "for Beginners" series.

It's also possible it was Hegel for Beginners, although I can't find that book in the series. At any rate, they have one for Lacan, Derrida, Sartre, Chomsky, and so on, as well as round-ups like Structuralism and Poststructuralism... so surely one of these is the intended reference.

The kind of thing they used to have in the bookstore of the New York Marxist School. When I was into that sort of thing.
posted by dhartung at 12:16 AM on February 17, 2005

The possibility that she did not read the book in English would support dhartung's suggestion, "Marxism for Beginners." The title could quite reasonably have been translated as "Dialectical Materialism for Children," (Marxism and dialectical materialism are typically considered synonymous). It also could have been an on-the-spot translation of the title back into English while she was giving the interview that produced an idiosyncratic response. "Hegel for Beginners" seems unlikely.

Incidentally, I believe the author of "Marxism for Beginners" is from Mexico, so it is possible the book was originally published in Spanish (with a completely different title?)
posted by nequalsone at 8:36 AM on February 17, 2005

Thanks for everyone's help! I've just put through a request to add Marx for Beginners to my Uni library. I'm trying to build up our graphic novel collection and this will make a great addition.
posted by rokabiri at 9:14 AM on February 17, 2005

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