Friday, May 15, 2015

MAUS: A survivor's tale

Maus depicts the story of WWII, more specific the terrible things that happened to Polacs and Jews during that war.
It starts off with the strained relationship of the author and his father, who's lived the gruesome past only known to us through history class.
As he asks his father to tell him off his past, the graphic novel alternates between then and now.

The thing that made me pick it up in the library, after it being so long on my want-to-read-list, is that I'm fascinated by the era. It's something I picked up in the last year of highschool listening to a very impassioned history teacher. It's also because during that year 9/11 happened, which the same teacher made us understand how it ever could happen.
So, in the end, I walked out of that school with a degree and a passion for history, especially everything after the industrial revolution.

Maus seemed to be a very unique portrayal of the horrors happened during WWII, with the jews depicted as mice, the nazis as cats and everyone helping them being pigs.
But as I started reading it, I soon disliked it.
First of all, I'm not a fan of black and white comics. It might be a statement being made, or a esthetical enhancement as it is with The Walking Dead but it doesn't draw me in.
Second, I tried to read it in dutch, which is my native language, but the translation left much to desire for.
Thirdly, and figuratively speaking the last drop, I hated the transitions between then and now. It's fine with me if you want to start and stop you're novel with it, but all the way through it's about this guy and his troublesome relationship with his father. I found it more the subject of the novel than the past his father spoke off, that seemed to exist as the reason behind his visits.

Since so many people liked this comic, I might be among few who didn't like it. I'm just being honest, even if it's about a very tender subject.

I'll leave it entirely up to you whether you try this or not. I tried to finish it, but I just lacked the stamina.