Maus- a short review ( take 2)
Maus was an incredibly difficult and taxing read for me. I come from a german family. I come from a successful family. In many ways i associated with the author, with his frustration and drive to find meaning for himself in the life of his father.
Above all us, Maus tells a story that feels real. Even of the protagonists, the author doesn’t try to hide their faults, even as these seem to overtake their good qualities at times. The author is pushy and seemingly heartless to his father. The father is abusive, neurotic and racist. But these imperfections illustrate the truthfulness of the account.
About the art: Maus is not the most beautiful comic you will ever read. It is done entirely in pencil and ink. But i found this to be part of the effect of the story. The Holocaust was not sleek and shiny. It was not fantastic. It was real. And that is the effect of this art style.
NB- I struggled with the different nations as animals. In a meta commentary ( one of several, which always left me howling in laughter) the wife the author discuss what kind and animal she should be, a frog or a mouse. The french were frogs, the polish swine, the americans dogs, the swedish elk, the germans cats, and, of course, the jews as mice.
I like cats, ok? I don’t think they’re evil. Of course, within the mice cats dogs metaphor, it makes sense. Still, separation of people makes even less sense to me after the Holocaust. But thats a minor note.
Maus is indeed a classic of the genre and a masterpiece.
From Now until Tomorrow, I will take in breath, and I will remember to let it out again.