Monday, 18 October 2010

'The Complete Maus'

The Complete Maus’ (a winner of the Pulitzer Prize,) is an extraordinary graphic novel written by Art Spiegelman. It depicts the horrors of the holocaust in an imaginative story which also explores the difficulties that can occur in family relationships. The sub-plot of Art’s relationship with his father gives the story a strong grip on the human dimension of this horrific tale. The story starts in Poland and follows the history of a family of wealthy Jews from the early 1930’s until the end of the second world war. The harsh reality of life for Jews under the Nazi’s is illustrated and all the horror of  concentration camps is unveiled for us to see. Such an awful story may not seem to be a good fit for a comic book format, but the depiction of Jews as mice, Germans as cats and Poles as pigs works very well.  It is a story of one man’s tenacity in clinging on to life in the midst of death and it is clear that this experience shaped the rest of his life.
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