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Smith, Philip: Reading Art Spiegelman. (Routledge Advances in Comics Studies, 1.) London, New York: Routledge, 2015. (148 S.) 
Resource type: Book
Languages: englisch
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 9781138956766
BibTeX citation key: Smith2015
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Breakdowns", "In the Shadow of No Towers", "Maus", Holocaust, Spiegelman. Art, Trauma, USA
Creators: Smith
Publisher: Routledge (London, New York)
The horror of the Holocaust lies not only in its brutality but in its scale and logistics; it depended upon the machinery and logic of a rational, industrialised, and empirically organised modern society. The central thesis of this book is that Art Spiegelman’s comics all identify deeply-rooted madness in post-Enlightenment society. Spiegelman maintains, in other words, that the Holocaust was not an aberration, but an inevitable consequence of modernisation. In service of this argument, Smith offers a reading of Spiegelman’s comics, with a particular focus on his three main collections: Breakdowns (1977 and 2008), Maus (1980 and 1991), and In the Shadow of No Towers (2004)He draws upon a taxonomy of terms from comic book scholarship, attempts to theorize madness (including literary portrayals of trauma), and critical works on Holocaust literature.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables (ix)
Acknowledgments (xi)

Introduction (1)

1. Formal Experimentation and Emotional Breakdowns (7)
A Brief History of the American Comic Book (8)
On Not Erasing Pencil Lines: Formalism in Breakdowns (12)
On the Precipice: Drawing Madness (22)
The Sleep of Reason (26)
In That Sleep of Death What Dreams May Come (39)

2. Historiography and Survival in Maus (42)
Selling Out and Talking in Screams (43)
‘Funny Aminals’: (De)Familiarisation in Maus (48)
Putting Things in Boxes: Maus’ Narrative Structure (60)
A Good Place What I Made: Survival and Resilience (80)
Writing Silence (95)

3. The Story of a Story: In the Shadow of No Towers (102)
The Revenger’s Tragedy (104)
In Superman’s Shadow (113)
If We Shadows Have Offended (124)
We are but Dust and Shadow (131)

Conclusion: Divinest Sense (137)
The Second-Generation Survivor (137)
The Scholar and the Madman (140)
Final Words (143)

Index (147)

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