Spiegelman’s Maus: Ancient History
Art, Speigelman, The Complete Maus: A Survivors Tale (Pantheon Books: ISBN 9780679406419)This week you have finished reading Art Spiegelman’s graphic memoir (nonfiction). This is an entirely new genre in this course and was a startling and controversial Holocaust representation when the first volume was published in 1980. In your responses use “Spiegelman” when referring to the author and “Art” when referring to the representation of the author in Maus.
1. Through most of the book, people are represented as animals (Jewish people as mice, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs, and so on). On a few occasions, there are photographs inserted, and sometimes there are drawings of photographs. There are maps and diagrams, as well as drawings of iconic photographs. How does this variety of graphic elements form and develop from much of the same sort of information or images you know through the memoirs, diaries, essays, and documentaries in this course?2. Both Art and his father are constantly shifting in time references and this is immediately drawn in the text (from Queens or the Catskills in the present moment to the First World War and Poland in the 1930s to drawing Maus). What changes have taken place between the first volume and the second for Art and the other characters? How has the unexpected worldwide success of the first volume been a psychological burden?
3. How does Maus represent trauma in victims during the Holocaust and decades later and in the second generation? How does Maus show the differences in desire to remember and control the narrative in the struggle between Art and his father and the ghostly presences of Art’s mother and Richieu?
To receive full points, you must:1. Answer all questions in one to two paragraph answers.2. Refer to the assigned reading and videos where appropriate.3. Demonstrate understanding of the assigned readings and vid