Monday, August 3, 2009

"Maus" by Art Spiegelman

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Maus” made a huge impression me- I know my history- I have no delusions of what happened in WW2 and what horrors and evils the Nazi Germans spread to the farthest reaches of the planet. But every time I read a book about the concentration camps, or so much as flip through the book while checking it in, I have to stop what I’m doing. And I cry. Seeing the photos always makes me take an assessment of my life- of how much I have: my family, my job, my friends, my life. And no matter how bad of a day I might be having, reading the stories of Holocaust victims makes anything I might be worrying about pale into nothing. I read “Nacht” by Elie Wiesel straight through from cover to cover because of its gripping narration. “Maus” was a MUCH easier format to read on this particular topic, and yet it still conveyed the emotions and sorrows with as much power as if it was in novel form. And even though it was illustrated and not a photographic portrayal of the events, it still gave a vivid visual to the horrors, and I had to stop reading when Richieu died (pp 108-109). But also because of this format (illustrations versus photos, and its personal storytelling account versus textbook facts), it would make a very appropriate teaching tool in a school setting- it is something that a younger population could understand, and yet maybe not have the nightmares they might get from other formats. Or not comprehend the depth of destruction and genocide the Nazis visited on their victims.

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