Friday, April 6, 2007
The link above is to the first of these graphic novels by Art Speigelman. I am not a huge graphic novel fan (though I do want to sample some of Angstrat's picks) but these two are amazing. Speigelman depicts his parents. experiences through the holocaust (and some of the aftermath) in cartoon form. The Jews are mice, Germans are cats, Pole ares pigs, French are frogs, Americans are Dogs. This works particularly well in Maus where they are trying to escape being sent to the camps and assume various disguises--the mice wearing pig masks when pretending to be Poles and so on. These novels also explore Speigalman's tortured relationship with his parents and how his father telling him the story of their holocaust experiences changes how he sees him. Speigelman's father, who kept himself and his wife alive in Auschwitz through sheer tenacity is an amazing man, though he can be infuriating to his son. A brilliant portrait of the holocaust and one family's story.