by Art Spiegelman
This graphic novel is a really impressive work of art and biography. Spiegelman tells the story of his strained relationship with his father as well as his father’s experience during Nazi occupation of Poland and the Holocaust.
For some reason I want to write about the story within the story (or comic book within the comic book) about Spiegelman’s mother’s suicide, and his own subsequent bout with madness. It is a dark and powerful moment in the story, and tells more of the effects such a war has had on generations of family. But it is Vladek’s (Art’s father) story, after all, that is being told here. Interestingly, this is an unsentimental depiction of his father, who, it seems, was quite a bastard. Maybe that’s what such experience does to a man. And, perhaps his son, since Spiegelman’s own depiction of himself is one of a son who is only interested in visiting his father to gather details for his book.
This is a great book. It’s a quick, powerful read that will leave you thinking about the extraordinary pain and suffering endured by those who survived the Holocaust.
How can we humans get to a point where this type genocide is a thing of the past?