Art Spiegelman: Banning “Rats”: Erasing the Culture of Memory of the Holocaust

Nazism was defeated in May 1945, but anti-Semitism remained. It is not limited to the rants of millennial imperial revivalists or racist one-party theorists.A county school board in Tennessee recently banned the graphic novel mouse from its library and classrooms, citing its use of profanity and depictions of nudity. The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom lists nearly 500 publications banned across the United States, including award-winning novels, to kill a robinThis Tintin comics, Captain Underpants Adventures, and classic movies, gone With the Wind. Paradoxically, this censorship proved to be for the common good, as we were told that we needed relief from the unnecessary pain of being exposed to “unacceptable ideas.”

But a review of masterpieces like this mouse Just reinforces its moral value. It has sold millions of copies worldwide and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. But perhaps its greatest value lies in keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive for a new generation.

Art Spiegelman was born in Stockholm in 1948. Although his parents survived the Holocaust, his older brother Richieu did not. Following the suicide of his mother in 1968, Spiegelman immersed himself in the underground comics scene that flourished in the late 1960s.A few years later, Spiegelman teamed up with Bill Griffith to edit arcade, a publication featuring veteran underground cartoonists such as Robert Crum and Gilbert Shelton. Founded in 1980 by Spiegelman and his wife Françoise Mouly raw Magazine in which the graphic art matures in a large comic book that includes a large number of cartoonists such as Kaz, Gary Panter, Charles Burns, Sue Coe and many others.

Cartoonist Art Spiegelman at his New York studio, 2008.Pictures of Alamy

the first page of mouse Published in Underground Comics in 1972, funny animalsEdited by friends and future of Spiegelman raw Co-editor, Justin of the great innovations of mouse Yes it uses anthropomorphic animals to represent the hell of Nazi extermination and anti-Semitic persecution in Europe. In Spiegelman’s black-and-white Orwellian metaphor, Jews are depicted as mice, Nazis as cats, and Polish collaborators as pigs.Another distinguishing feature mouse is its use of analytical introspection. Like Crumb and Green, Spiegelman brilliantly uses first-person perspective to convey deep and complex ideas about the horrific Holocaust, with a high degree of psychological realism.

There are two parallel stories mouse They unfold in very different times, environments and places, but are linked by the umbilical cord of a common heritage. His father Vladek tells the story of the family’s life in Poland and their struggle to survive the extinction. In parallel, mouse Also a contemporary autobiographical analysis of American Jewish assimilation in the second half of the 20th some point mouseVladek cynically warned his son about friendship: “Lock yourself up in a room with your best friend for a week, eat or drink, and see who your friend is!” Two very different times Incredibly vivid stories prevent us from relegating the Holocaust to the dust of history bookshelves.

some of the firsts that later became mouse in Spiegelman’s Malfunction: From Rat to Present, Striptease Anthology (1977).Malfunctions, which can mean failures, interruptions, ruptures, breakdowns and mental illness, are everywhere mouse. ghetto life, Nazi cooperation and neighbor espionage, trains to Auschwitz, tattoos of death camp prisoners, forced labor, systematic extermination of children, suicide, gas chambers, and many other horrific and inhumane things The events of the caricatures are all expressed in this language, giving Spiegelman a deeper and deeper understanding than many of the indifferent histories and archival collections about the Holocaust. It’s not that we don’t need these files, it’s that they are not enough.we need to mouse.

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