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Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City

by Guy Delisle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6624126,375 (4.09)58
"Delisle explores the complexities of a city that represents so much to so many. He eloquently examines the impact of the conflict on the lives of people on both sides of the wall while drolly recounting the quotidian: checkpoints, traffic jams, and holidays. When observing the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim populations that call Jerusalem home, Delisle's drawn line is both sensitive and fair, assuming nothing and drawing everything" --Paper band on book.… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, alo1224, HansJHansen, LionLib, bastate2, MysteryTea, lochinb
  1. 40
    Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle (Serviette)
  2. 30
    Palestine by Joe Sacco (Serviette)
  3. 20
    Footnotes in Gaza: A Graphic Novel by Joe Sacco (Serviette)
  4. 10
    Le Photographe, tome 1 by Emmanuel Guibert (Felipe-F)
  5. 33
    How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden (lorax)
    lorax: As "graphic novels about visiting Israel" the connection is obvious, but the benefits of reading both do go beyond that. Delisle's stay is considerably longer, but he sees less of the country, and more day-to-day life; Glidden's on a highly managed trip where she sees more of the tourist sites, but none of the settlements (where Delisle spends much of his time). They complement each other well.… (more)
  6. 00
    A Child in Palestine: The Cartoons of Naji al-Ali by Naji al-Ali (Felipe-F)

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» See also 58 mentions

English (25)  French (10)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Do you think the situation in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza is fucked up? Jerusalem, a graphic memoir by Guy Delisle, confirms it’s probably worse than you think. I’ve read two of Delisle’s previous travel-memoir-comics, Burma Chronicles and Shenzhen, and this one is definitely the best. Our atheist French-Canadian spends a year living in East Jerusalem, while his wife was working with Doctors Without Borders, during the 2008-2009 Gaza War. Needless to say, it’s a page-turner.

It’s not quite fair to say that Delisle is neutral - he’s clearly very sympathetic to the Palestinians, scornful about the Israeli security apparatuses, and downright hostile to the Israeli settler movement - but he goes out of his way to avoid polemicals, to depict things as even-handedly as he can. Delisle himself is an atheist with more than a whiff of secular French republicanism, viewing any conspicuous display of faith as rather gauche. Despite - or perhaps because of - that, Delisle makes an excellent chronicler, keenly observing the habits and rituals of Jerusalem’s many communities, be they Jewish, Christian, or Muslim.

Jerusalem is also a very difficult work to summarize. It’s dozens of small vignettes, touching on everything from Yom Hazikaron to Messianic Judaism to garbage collection to the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. Almost all of the major religious sites get a few panels, including a surprisingly touching visit to the Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany. If there is any criticism of note, it is that Delisle does not particularly explore the role of terrorism in the Palestinian nationalism movement, though one feels that this was omitted more due a lack of first-hand encounters rather than for ideological or political reasons.

For returning readers, many of Delisle’s more traditional themes are largely absent. After the first few pages, very little attention is paid to his life as a stay-at-home dad, and there are almost no discussions of animation techniques (apart from a humorous aside about the difficulties of cartooning humans in the Holy Land). It’s not as closely entwined with the MSF’s mission as Burma Chronicles was, but it nevertheless is synoptic with the perspective of most NGOs in the region.

If you’d like a humanist take on the conflict around Jerusalem, you could certainly do much worse. While no one perspective can ever truly encapsulate all sides of the conflict, Delisle’s view is worth sharing. He is a storyteller of an exceptional class. ( )
  pvoberstein | Dec 14, 2020 |
A nice, breezy read after the slogging through Genesis. Similar to his other travelogue-comics, it's nothing amazing and yet it's a page turn. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
Me gusta mucho esta 'saga' de Crónicas de los viajes de Guy Delisle, pero la parte final de éste me ha parecido un poco aburrida. ( )
  Carla_Plumed | Dec 3, 2018 |
Nice to see occupied Palestine from an expat's perspective... This place is loaded ( )
  aborham | Nov 26, 2017 |
This graphic novel format really lent itself well to showing and telling what life is like in Israel/Palestine. It seemed to really convey a feel for everyday life there. ( )
  Deesirings | Sep 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Après « Shenzhen », « Pyongyang » et « Chroniques birmanes », trois romans ­graphiques consacrés à ses voyages en Asie, Guy Delisle ramène de son année passée dans la ville sainte la matière de son nouveau livre.
added by Serviette | editRue89, Aurélie Champagne (Dec 11, 2011)
Fidèle à ses principes, Delisle enfile sa casquette de touriste/dessinateur/pédagogue/ observateur et emmène le lecteur dans un voyage qui mêle toile de fond politique (évidemment importante), achat de couches, déplacements en voiture et découverte des sites du pays. Comme toujours, c'est passionnant. Delisle possède un grand talent, celui de savoir expliquer et de raconter avec une légèreté qui n'exclut jamais le point de vue artistique.
added by Serviette | editL'express, Éric Libiot (Dec 6, 2011)
Curieux, faussement naïf, parfois maladroit mais respectueux des croyances de tous, Guy Delisle apprend à vivre au rythme des sirènes qui retentissent chaque nuit, au fil des fêtes religieuses. Il compose avec les traditions des juifs et des musulmans, rencontre les expatriés, les membres du cirque humanitaire, les religieux, les anti-religieux, les ultras... Un monde nouveau s'offre à lui chaque jour, et Guy Delisle l'offre au lecteur dans cette chronique du temps qui passe, d'août 2008 à juillet 2009.
added by Serviette | editMediapart, Dominique Bary (Dec 5, 2011)
Il ne faut jamais sous-estimer la perspective qui peut parfois se cacher dans le détail et la banalité du quotidien.
added by Serviette | editLe Devoir, Fabien Deglise (pay site) (Nov 30, 2011)
Delisle explique, dresse des cartes, place les villes, hachure les zones et, curieusement, plus on progresse dans son cours de géopolitique, plus on est, comme lui, de moins en moins sûr de comprendre ! Israël, Palestine, Cisjordanie, check points, colonies, blocus, roquettes… le tournis est total. Ce qui sauve le personnage-auteur, c’est sa disponibilité : « Je me suis aligné comme une année sabbatique, à passer du temps avec les enfants, faire des croquis, bloguer, explorer les environs », satisfait de cette nonchalance qui lui permet de tout relativiser et, surtout, de pouvoir passer de la gravité des situations aux vétilles de la vie de famille. Des tracas domestiques et climatiques aux circonvolutions politico-religieuses : rien n’échappe pourtant à l’œil averti de Delisle qui raconte avec humour, avec distance et sans dramatiser, sans niveler non plus ce qui est superficiel et ce qui est essentiel. Il travaille ici comme on le fait dans un carnet de voyages où l’intime et le planétaire occupent tour à tour chacun leur place.
added by Serviette | editBDzoom, Didier Quella-Guyot (Nov 25, 2011)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Delisle, Guyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helge DascherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Delisle explores the complexities of a city that represents so much to so many. He eloquently examines the impact of the conflict on the lives of people on both sides of the wall while drolly recounting the quotidian: checkpoints, traffic jams, and holidays. When observing the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim populations that call Jerusalem home, Delisle's drawn line is both sensitive and fair, assuming nothing and drawing everything" --Paper band on book.

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