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The Library of Babel

A Spin-off of http://bookwormshead.blogspot.co.uk

Maus, Vol. 2: And Here My Troubles Began - Art Spiegelman I'm not such a conoisseur of graphic novels but Spiegelman now has a place in my small pantheon together with Marjane Satrapi, Will Eisner, Gipi, Guy Delisle, Joe Sacco and Aaron McGruder.

Some may criticize this work by him but I do think it's a masterpiece.
The same idea of getting Shoah's personal memories by his dad, talking with him for years and trying to rebuild their father/son relation is Art Spiegelman's greatest worth.
I do not look at this work as a commercial or offensive operation, but as a hard and fair process of creating something unique about topics that everybody should know.

I think "Maus" could and might be a perfect way for introducing the Holocaust to young-adults, because movies are not enough for doing this (especially not the Tarantino's Way) and history books may be too heavy at first.

The most controversial aspect of the whole Maus production is probably related to the choice of animals representing nationalities.
I wonder how many Poles could be offended while being represented as pigs as well as Frenchmen becoming frogs and Swedes being reindeers.
And yet the same fact that Jewish people are mice should tell a lot.
As for me, Spiegelman didn't want to offend anyone, but just playing with bad stereotypes to fight them.

Maus I was an anticipation of upcoming tragedies and actual deportation, narrating the progressive fall of Vladek Spiegelman in Reich dominated Poland even without renouncing to irony.
Maus II tells how was surviving in Auschwitz, demonstrating how it was not only a matter of luck, but also a matter of strength, determination and diplomacy.

Together with this, I appreciated a lot the way Spiegelman draws his dad giving speech to his idiosyncrasies and making an accurate, ruthless and yet loving portrait of Vladek Spiegelman.