Sunday, October 12, 2014

Round #1- Risk Taking Researcher- Sophia S

Reading a couple of chapters of Maus is already an adventure. It is like watching a movie, because the father is telling one fastening story. And then you see the present which is Vladek's son who is a writer trying to write a book about his father's unique past. 

While reading the book I saw that the fathers last name was Spiegelman, which is the author of the books last name. That made me interested about researching about the author of the book and his father. Also in the book the son is writing a book about his father. Which made me wonder if the author of the book got some ideas of the book like the son did. So, Art Spiegelman was born on February 15, 1948 he is now 66. What I really wanted to find out was more about his father. His fathers name was Vladek Spiegelman and the book Maus is his fathers true story about being a Holocaust survivor. So, instead of drawing people he drew animals. There are three different types of animals in the story mice, pigs, and cats. They all each mean something. The mice are Jews, the Natzis as cats, and ethnic Poles as pigs. My question is why did he not use real people? Why mice as Jews or natzis as cats? Why do you think he chose to draw animals instead of people? Well he said that in 1971 he was part of a group of underground comix artists in San Francisco. There was one man named Justin Green who was put in charge of creating a comic book called Funny Animals. He wanted to do something like that, but with venetian blind shadows, and a more melodramatic pulp illustration mode. I think that it was very creative and something new that I have never seen of before. I have only really seen animals being used as people in children books. But this is about the Holocaust which is a very mature topic. Well the idea of the book got a lot of good feedback because he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 because of it. A Pulitzer Prize is an award for literature, newspaper, and online journalism. I researched a little more about his father and it turns out his father was born as Zeev Spiegelman. Valdek was his Polish name. Upon immigration in the U.S. he took the name William. Also the surname Spiegelman is German for "mirror man". I just found this interesting because his parents have been through so much even by changing their names show how much work they had to go through to survive the Holocaust. Overall the book Maus if full of rich family history about Spiegelman's family. 

Art Spiegelman in 2007
Vladek Spiegelman
"Art Spiegelman." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Dec. 2014. Web. 12 Oct. 2014.
Chute, Hilary. "Why Mice? by Art Spiegelman." Why Mice? by Art Spiegelman. The New York Review of Books, 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.

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