Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1) Maus I question

What do you think motivated the author, Art Spiegelman to write a comic book about his father's past?
deleted member Feb 18, 2012 01:57PM
I was just wondering what other people thought his reasons could be for writing a comic book about his father's experience than just writing a normal novel...

Spiegelman was already a comic artist, so it was natural for him to tell the story that way. Making your characters mice is also probably a way of taking a step back and away so you can write honestly.
I'm not a graphic novel fan, but I thought this was great, and Maus II was as good as Maus I (I didn't get to Maus III - worth it?). Anyway I thought the approach was very innovative, and his portrayal of the father was completely believable, i.e. what a pain in the ass he could be.

I agree in that Spiegelman was already a comic artist so this was a natural path to take. I think the book was not just for him to tell his father's story to the world but for his own personal reasons, as a way of understanding his father's life.
the book also has an ability to be understood in various ways, the pictures add another dimension to the story. Almost like Animal Farm, where the animals take on human characteristics.
I haven't had the chance to read it yet, but last year Spiegelman came out with I guess an explanation for Maus. Its called MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus.

its because the book talks about his dads own experiences basically something he lived through and went through and this book basically gave everyone a real life idea of how those camps actually were and how people tried they're best to survive.

Nonetheless, it is still an emotional experience even though he used mice as the characters:)

I think Art Spieglman wanted to express his story, and his father's story through a medium he was comfortable with, which was art. I thought it was a fascinating decision.

It also allowed us to visualize his feelings (i.e. his nervous breakdown, his sessions with the psychiatrist, etc...)

F 25x33
Rachel there mice not rats
Oct 12, 2012 07:28AM · flag
U 25x33
Jesus Christ They're not there ...more
Jun 23, 2016 07:00AM · flag

Perhaps in this format, it is also easier to deal with the subject matter. I read them all awhile back.

Comics were his "voice." At first I was put off by the rough style of the drawings but then came to remember people I knew who never understood the insanity of their parents' life in the camps. This is what made Maus have it's impact. Perhaps the book wouldn't have become the teller it is had Speigelman only used words that were not a strength for him.

Art Spiegelman pretty much expresses his feelings in the first page of the book Maus I, where he cries and goes to his father and the father responds by saying "Friends? A couple of days with them without food and you will know who are these friends" or something like that and its a very chilling start. It goes to show that the Holocaust has been such a horrible experience that it changes the very core of a person, very much seen in Art's father, - obsessive, untrusting miserly. These attributes directly affected Art Spiegelman's childhood and maybe he wanted to get to the core of why his father turned out to be that way personally. Also the death of his mom has got holocaust aftermath misery written all over it. All in all, it was such a touching and original work!

Comics also allows for the inspired portrayals of Nazi as cats and Jews as mice, which would, I suppose, be a terribly difficult thing to achieve in a conventional novel.

I loved that he did the story this way, showing us what he went through writing the story and learning about it from his father instead of just writing the story. I know it sounds weird, but those are the kind of stories that the majority of us love the most. The real stories about real lives told in a fascinating way. Even though I love fantasy and paranormal and dystopian novels, my favorite will always be the ones that I can relate to about real people just living life but having a story to tell. I wish more stories were told this way, because I loved it. I think that he knew all of this and that was his reason to tell the story this way. And also to show how his father and himself were dealing with and handling what happened then and how they are now and making it very honest.

Also, the animals and art had a much greater symbolic meaning to it which enhanced our read experience.

In an interview with Nancy Pearl, Spiegelman described how he was heavily influenced by underground comics of the 1960s and 1970s (e.g.: Art Crumb), many of which featured anthropomorphized animals. The interview is available by clicking this link: ~ it's the podcast for October 8.

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