- Taschenbuch: 160 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin Books Ltd (10. September 1987)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0140104143
- ISBN-13: 978-0140104141
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,6 x 15,6 x 2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.598.871 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Maus: Pt. 1: A Survivor's Tale (Penguin graphic fiction) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 10. September 1987
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Maus is the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son.
Das Buch handelt von einem Juden, welcher den zweiten Weltkrieg überlebt hat. Unterbrochen wird die Erzählung der Vergangenheit von den Diskussionen zwischen dem Vater und dem Sohn. Der Sohn - eben Art Spiegelman - rollt in einer Art Interview mit dem Vater die ganze Geschichte auf. Man erlebt richtig mit, wie der Vater versucht hat zu überleben und gleichzeitig seine Familie zu retten.
Die Geschichte nimmt einen sehr mit, obwohl es ein Comic ist. Die Juden sind Mäuse, die Polen sind Schweine und die Deutschen sind Katzen. Für jede Nation ist ein anderes Tier gewählt worden. Die Körper sind allerdings menschlich. Nur die Köpfe wurden ausgetauscht. Sinnig sind dazu auch die Namen der Kapitel.
Hier wird einem die Welt von damals und die Schrecken sehr nahe gebracht, ohne dass man sich irgend eine Minute lang langweilen könnte. Auch das Leben nach dem Krieg wird hier sehr eindrückich beschrieben.
Ein wirklich fantastischer Comic, der nicht umsonst den Burlitzer Preis erhalten hat!
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I first read this book as a teenager, and would highly recommend it to people of any age. Over the years, I have re-read it frequently and shared it with friends of all ages. All have taken much from Spiegelman's tale.
A few notes must be made in response to the 10/26/97 comment posted below by a reviewer from Ontario, Canada. It is quite clear that this reviewer did not, in fact, read the book. (S)he mistakenly attacks Spiegelman for portraying the Poles as rats, and wonders if he would be offended if a book were written portraying Jews as rats. Anyone who took the time to read Maus (or merely to examine it's cover!) would know that it is, in fact, the Jewish people who are portrayed as mice/rats, whereas the Poles are portrayed not as vermin, but rather as pigs.
In fact, far from a "vicious" attack against Poles, there are many acts of kindness by Polish people portrayed in the book. Certainly there is unkindness as well, but how can the reviewer forget that this is a factual account of Vladek Spiegelman's life, told from his perspective. If unkind acts by Polish people are a part of that life, then they should be in the book.
Finally, the reviewer in question inelegantly raises a point of some merit, though it is one that is only tangentially related to Spiegelman's work. The Polish people did, in fact, suffer horribly at the hands of both Nazis and Soviets alike. Their death toll in the concentration camps numbered in the millions, and should never be forgotten or omitted when discussing the Holocaust. This book, however, is about Vladek Spiegelman, and so surely it cannot be assailed for its focus on events from his perspective.
Spiegelman's fidelity to his father's! story is to be admired, not attacked. And certainly not by a reviewer who could not be bothered to read the book.
I was looking over some of these reviews of Maus because I am going to see Spiegelman speak this weekend and just wanted to know what others had said in the past. I was disheartened to read some of the negative responses to the use of animal caricatures, especially since I have always felt this was the most ingenius part of the works. Looking at these reviews, though, I remembered an interview with Spiegelman I read a while back. He explains the animal caricatures a bit, and I thought it might be beneficial to place a quote here, in this forum.
Published in The Comics Journal, October 1991:
Spiegelman says of the animal portrayals,
"These images are not my images. I borrowed them from the Germans. At a certain point I wanted to go to Poland, and I had to get a visa. I put in my application, and then I got a call from the consul. He said 'the Polish attache wants to speak with you.' And I knew what he wanted to talk to me about. On the way over there, I tried to figure out what I was going to say to him. 'I wanted to draw noble stallions, but I don't do horses very well?' When I got there, he gave me the perfect opening. He said, 'You know, the Nazis called us schwein' (German for pig). And I said, 'Yes, and they called us vermin (German for mouse or rat).'
Ultimately, what the book is about is the commonality of human beings. It's crazy to divide things down the nationalistic or racial or religious lines. And that's the whole point, isn't it? These metaphors, which are meant to self-destruct in my book - and I think they do self-destruct - still have a residual force that allows them to work as metaphors, and still get people worked up over them."
I guess he's right. People do get worked up over the metaphors. Too bad some of those people can't understand them. If you haven't read Maus, you are missing a true piece of art.
Art Spiegelman attempts to tell the story of his father Vladek's life in Hitler's Europe. By and large, the book is a detailed, objective retelling of his Vladek's story. However, as Art himself will realize, "I can't even make sense out of my relationship with my father--how am I supposed to make sense out of the Holocaust?" and "Reality is much too complex for comics--so much has to be left out or distorted." Thus liberated from the impossible standard of complete objectivity, Art is free to insert two important subjective elements into the story--the depiction of different races as different species, and the insertion of himself as a character in MAUS.
Obviously, Art is not a overt racist--in fact, in the second part of MAUS, Art will scold his father for distrusting a black person, and a German-Jewish couple will help Vladek return home after being freed from the death camps. The point of portraying Jews as mice, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs, etc. is to show what race relations during Hitler's Europe might have been like.
The characterization of race doesn't end there, though--as the scene shifts from Nazi Germany to the present, and as Art must suffer the daily trials and tribulations of life with a father permanently scarred by his experiences, Art depicts himself as a mouse as well, a confession that he himself is unable to completely escape the aftermath of the poisoned race relations of the Holocaust. Maybe this makes him a covert racist. But if he is, then who isn't?
Art's involvement in MAUS goes beyond interviewing his father, though. Later in the story we will see that Art was treated in a mental hospital and sees a psychiatrist regularly. As the book cover declares, "MAUS is a story about the survivors of the Holocaust--and of the children who somehow survive the survivors."
The storytelling in MAUS is stellar, and the craftsmanship is as well. The comics medium allows Spiegelman to employ some interesting tricks. For example, whenever Vladek is trying to sneak around, he is portrayed with a pig mask. When Vladek and Anja are trying to escape from the ghetto, Anja, who in real life was easily identifiable as a Jew by her appearance, is drawn with a long tail, while Vladek is not.
In sum, MAUS is a gripping story of his parents' experience during the Holocaust, filled with countless brushes with death, tales of betrayal, and plenty of terrible, graphic illustrations of victims being executed. It is not a history text in the most austere and empirical sense. Rather, it is a confession that the Holocaust defies dispassionate and detached analysis.
This volume of Maus is mostly about Vladek trying to avoid the Nazis, as all the Jews in Europe were trying to do at this time. There are many colorful characters and stories packed into Maus, and it is a grim reminder of a dark period of world history. Beware though . . . the second edition (And Here My Troubles Began) is even more horrifying.
Maus is brilliant. Buy this and the second part too - there is no way you'll regret it.