Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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While staying at my friends’ place in Köln, I looked through their bookshelf and discovered that they had the Maus cartoon by Art Spiegelman. I had read about this many times before but never got my hands on it. So I used the opportunity to read theirs.

Maus cover art Its two volumes tell the story of the author’s father Wladek who suffered through the Nazi times as a jew in Poland and survived Auschwitz. A topic that is as serious as it is depressing. And one that looks like an unlikely candidate for a cartoon. But miraculously Art Spiegelman manages to make this work. He manages to pass on his father’s story without losing it in too many words. While the cartoon form with drawings isn’t very explicit in detailing the atrocities that happened, the matter of fact way in which Wladek Spiegelman tell his story to his son – which is depicted in the book as well – is depressing.

By including both the story of his father in the 1940s and the story of his father telling him about it, Art Spiegelman manages to show both the historical aspect and the long-term effects they had on his father who even decades later in a comfortable and safe situations keeps habits from his time in the concentration camp, like not daring to throw away any food.

Definitely recommended.

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]

August 28, 2005, 23:04

Tagged as art spiegelman, book, cartoon, maus.

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