When Judging a Book By Its Cover Becomes a Problem

My blog manager (who works for guacamole), and is extremely clever, cut straight to the heart of the matter with this title.

I stumbled on this news story the other day (I have been sitting on the post, so sue me). To sum it up for those who don’t want to click it, Russian booksellers have removed Maus by Art Spiegelman as a response to the Anti-Nazi push. Basically, the Russian government is pushing to remove all swastikas from the country, and bookstores have removed Maus because they feared someone seeing the cover and reporting it.

I am not sure how many people have read Maus. It was required reading for me in college so my introduction to it was in a very educational setting. For those who don’t know about it, below is the flap copy from the 25th anniversary edition:

“The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father’s story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in “drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust” (The New York Times).

Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek’s harrowing story of survival is woven into the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century’s grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. ”

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