November 5, 2007
History or Humanity
Art Spiegelman, Maus I: My Father Bleeds History
After a long battle with the technology available through the Seton Hill Academic Computing Labs, I managed to capture the final page of Art Spiegelman's Maus I: My Father Bleeds History.
I think that this kind of attitude peppers through history's horrors. Memories that some want to forget and others want to charish.
I also thought it interesting that Art turns the idea of murder on his father for burning his mother's words. It's as if destroying the memories of the trials she lived through was what killed her. The value isn't even placed on her life and death - but rather the life and death of history. Which one is really more valuable? I think that Art's character is saying history, but the way he takes pains (in the novel) to show the value of evey aspect of his father argues the opposite.
Posted by Diana Geleskie at November 5, 2007 9:25 PM
wow....Artie felt that by burning the papers that his father had somehow erased part of history. His mother wanted her son to know about the horror. Her death, and the Holocaust, were somehow then made less vivid, as if they were no longer as horrible. I am reading 1984 for PS228 right now, and I have learn one very valuable thing: erasing the past can have disasterous consequences.
I don't think it is unfair of Artie to be angry with Vladek for burning his mother's history. At the same time I can't blame Vladek for not wanting to have that ghost haunt him. It is easy for us to side with Artie, the one who hasn't seen the horrors of the Holocuast. Not saying that Artie didn't love his father, but there was no way he could understand the mental strain of a holocuast survivor.
I think it all depends. When a person, or character, is still living, the life is more important. When a person, or character, is dead, the history and life are equally important--the life shows through the history but no longer exists in and of itself.