A New Tale

The first book that comes to mind, obviously, left very strong impressions upon me. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale is interesting in delivery alone. It is a graphic novel (a.k.a. a long comic book) in which Art Spiegelman lets his father speak about his trials in Nazi Germany. As the reader, you are easily emotionally involved in the story, be it concerning the hiding, the concentration camps, or the priceless romance between Vladek and Anja, Art’s parents. Perhaps this involvment is only increased by the artistic format.

An important part of the book is that people are no longer people – they are animals. The mice are Jews, the cats are Nazis, The dogs are American soldiers, with the cast of characters continuing. Along with this segregation comes creativity: during many points, Jews in hiding often resorted to wearing Pig masks (to represent the Poles) in order to remain safe for a bit longer.

I think the most touching part of the whole story was how the relationship between Art and his father was just as important as Vladek’s story of “the War”. Here’s Mr. Speigelman, as a mouse, struggling to accurately portray his father’s story while trying not to kill his father amidst his ramblings. You all see the humor in it, I’m sure, as you all have been there. Poor Art… there’s dear old dad, going off about cereal, and all Art wants to do is hear more about Auschwitz.

In any case, I was very impressed with the entire novel, and was lucky enough to have gotten a copy that includes both Part I and Part II. The art is just fantastic and adds a new layer to memoirs that should be noted more often. I highly recommend it, though I must warn you: despite the happy-cartoony way in which such a tale is prestented, it is a very honest interpretation, therefore graphic.

Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  

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