In any retelling of an event as unspeakable as the Holocaust, much will be lost in translation. With Art Spiegelman's 'Maus,' the retelling is in the form of a graphic novel full of cats and mice, and yet somehow much survives. 25 years ago Art Spiegelman created a hauntingly simple narrative of the Holocaust which was anything but simplistic in creating "an opening or aperture for critical thinking on the transmission of past trauma."
On October 4 Spiegelman will release a new book, 'MetaMouse: A Look Inside a Modern Classic,' in which the author attempts to answer many questions planted 25 years ago, such as: "Why the Holocaust? Why mice? Why comics?"
It is a story that Spiegelman says is more about father and son than about the Holocaust, and it is simultaneously fiction and nonfiction, having been based on 40 hours of interviews between Spiegelman and his father. The result is a modern masterpiece, with content and form that address the complexity of sharing stories and events that are incommunicable. The book was released in 1986, and is the only graphic novel to have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
The video below contains a hint of what is in store for the commemoration of this unconventional classic.