aus grew out of a comic strip I did in 1971 for an underground comic book: a three-page strip that was based on stories of my fatherís and motherís that I recalled being told a in childhoodÖ.In 1977 I decided to do [a] longer work, [and] I set up an arrangement to see my father more often and talk to him about his experiencesÖ.Although I set aboutÖto do a history of sorts, Iím all to aware that ultimately what Iím creating is a realistic fiction. The experiences my father actually went through [are not exactly the same as] what heís able to remember and what heís able to articulate to these experiences. Then thereís what Iím able to understand of what heís articulated and what Iím able to put down on paper. And then of course thereís what the reader can make of thatÖ.Itís important to me that Maus is done in comic strip form, because itís what Iím most comfortable shaping and working with. Maus for me is part of a way of telling my parentsí life and therefore coming to terms with itÖItís not a matter of choice in the sense that I donít feel I could deal with the this material as prose, or as a series of paintings, or as a film, or as poetryÖ.In looking as other art and literature thatís been shaped from the Holocaust- a historic term I feel problematic- that material is often very high pitchedÖ.I feel a need for a more subdued approach, which would incorporate distancing devices like using these animal mask faces. Another aspect of the way Iíve chosen to use this material is that Iíve entered myself into the story. So the way the story got told and who the story was told to is as important [as] my fatherís narrative. To me thatís at the heart of the work.

-From Oral History Journal, Spring 1987

 

BACK   |   HOME   |    NEXT

 


home