Next-in-Reading

Next-in-Reading #15: Blue is the Warmest Colour

Next In ReadingTitle: Blue is the Warmest Colour
Author: Julie Maroh
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Year: 2013

Note: Contents of this book may not be suitable for some audiences. Thanks.

“In spite of it all, after that horrible experience, I felt better, like I had gotten rid of a horrible past for out of reach of existential questions or concerns. I felt in harmony for the first time. Everything seemed perfectly in place.”

Many thanks to the Tiger, who lent me this =)
Many thanks to the Tiger, who lent me this =)

In high school and utterly confused, Clementine finds comfort in Emma, a student in another Art School. Exploring this new love, Clementine goes through judgment, ostracizing family members, friends who were not friends in the first place, and finding out what her true calling in life really is.

Character(s)

Clementine, Authentic Curiosity

Clementine appears as the innocent, lost child who is grasping her way through the darkness of reality, with Emma – her girlfriend – being the key to the rest of her life. However, what is interesting about this story is how the roles are immediately reversed the moment Clementine died. Through her diaries, Emma is able to see the sincere Clementine, and through there, she gains a new assurance of their love and its power beyond the physical world.

Struggling for social acceptance at first, she slowly gains confidence and accepts herself the way she is – without any kind of label, even those Emma seems to imply on her. At the end of the day, she stays true to herself, and true to the fact that she did not identify with a group, but just knew that she loved Emma with all her heart, until and beyond her death.

Theme(s)

Love

The theme of Love and its power is very strong through the entire story. As one goes through the book, it can be said that the story does take a theme similar to that of the process of love as experienced in a relationship.

The blossoming shown as Clementine, a high school student, budding and curious, explores feelings of love and lust, with Emma appearing as a haunting face in her dreams. The stabilizing follows shortly after, as Clementine grows to realize that she is in love with and cares for Emma, despite the negativity around her – discrimination from “friends”, being thrown out of her house etc…

The plateau comes as both of them age, when Clementine narrates her love for Emma, but admits an intellectual distance between the both of them (they want different things for each other), which led to her feeling the same lost feeling that she had before she and Emma were a couple. The supposed shadow is cast when the plateau reached a breaking point and a temporary break was needed between the two of them (though neither of them liked it).

The physical end came with Clementine’s death, together with Emma’s despair and self-blaming. However, love’s eternal linger ties the story together, with Clementine assuring Emma of her eternal love – one that can be felt beyond the physical realm.

Style & Structure

Blue is the Warmest Colour is a graphic novel that tells a story in mostly diary form, narrating the story of a physically absent narrator, replaced only by words that show up in her diary. This format not only provides a visual flow to the audience, but also a view of Clementine through Emma’s eyes as she relives the past they had through the former’s diaries.

Blue is the Warmest Colour was originally written in French and by Julie Maroh. To find out more about her, click here.

In the meantime…

A sneak peek at what's coming next week!
A sneak peek at what’s coming next week!

And I’ll see you next week!Blanket Fortress Logo

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