Vol. I: My Father Bleeds History
Vol. II: And Here My Troubles Began
Every form of media has masterworks that define what it truly means to be that medium -- film has The Godfather Pt. 1, music has The Dark Side of the Moon, and painting has Guernica. To be a classic, a work must activate the unique character of that medium.
每一種形式的藝術，都會有幾部大師之作，堪稱定義了該種藝術。例如電影有《教父I》；音樂有Pink Floyd的《The Dark Side of the Moon》（月之暗面）專輯；繪畫有畢卡索的《Guernica》（格爾尼卡）。一部作品若要成為經典，必須將該種媒材不可取代的特質激發出來。
This is a comic book, and it is a story of the Holocaust. It is told by the author's father Vladek as he recounts his experiences as a Polish Jew surviving what the Nazis called "the final solution to the Jewish question" -- Hitler's plan to exterminate the Jewish race (which succeeded in wiping out 6 million of the Jewish people).
It's drawn in a postmodernist, cartooned black-and-white style with expertly-crafted visual storytelling that gifts the incredibly heavy, rich material with the spark of life. The book's heavy inked lines and compelling insights reflect a deeply personal story filled with as much emotional as historical detail, and showing perspectives and realities of the war that are rarely detailed and often forgotten.
The artist's recorded interviews with his father taken in 1978-79 frame our story, which we pick up in the mid-1930s and follow until the end of the war. As Vladek Spiegelman's words carry us through the realities as the Holocaust unfolded, the book spends as much time establishing and caring for the lives of the survivors after the war. The markings of atrocity and survival rest upon every fragment of the narrative, and in reading Maus you will be walking with our heroes as they scrape and struggle to survive. Meanwhile, Spiegelman's inclusion of irony or humor through the details and style of Vladek's story lend a special sense of humanity to the story that makes it possible for the book, a totally unique historical record created in visual form, to be what it is.
Maus was originally serialized by Raw magazine, a major publication of the alternative comics movement, from 1980 to 1991. It went on in 1992 to become the first comic book to win the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, and prior to this event the English-speaking world had basically regarded comics as being inescapably frivolous. Spiegelman's art for Maus will permanently redefine how you see cartoons and regard them as storytelling tools, and perfectly expresses what makes a comic book a comic book -- it does the things that could not work in any other medium.
本文收錄於英語島English Island 2018年9月號