Maus II

Spiegelman, Art. Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began. New York: Pantheon, 1992.

I think by the time I read Maus II I was conditioned to lose the conundrum I previously faced with Maus I. When I first read Maus I I struggled with the dilemma of an extremely serious storyline wrapped in a cartoon; the holocaust in pictures. With the reading of Maus II my mind could reconcile the conflict. The heavy topics return as Spiegelman’s father continues his story of survival. At this point he is a prisoner in the concentration camp at Auschwitz and surviving because of his ability to appeared skilled at whatever the gestapo or Nazis need, whether it be working with tin or fixing shoes. The most poignant element of Vladek’s story is that he never gave up on his wife. Being that she was so thin and frail, he feared the worst but he never lost some small hope that he would see her again. The struggle between father and son held the most emotional tension, despite Vladek’s ordeals. Evidence of Alzheimer’s disease complicates their relationship, as does the leaving of Vladek’s second wife, Mala.

Stunning quotes, “If you want to live it is good to be friendly” (p 62) and “I wish he and Mala could patch things up and make each other miserable again” (p 120).

Reason read: to finish the Maus series I started well over a month ago.

Author fact: Thanks to Wikipedia I learned that Spiegelman came up with the Garbage Pail Kids after the Cabbage Patch Kid craze. Interesting.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Graphic Novels” (p 103). Funny how I didn’t mention this earlier, but Spiegelman, Maus I and Maus II are not in the index of Book Lust. Somehow they were left out.

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