and sculptors under the Nazis often depicted the nude, but they were forbidden to show any physical imper fections... They have the perfection of a fantasy” (Susan Sontag) • Physical perfection was more shown in film “Fascinating Fascism” • By Susan Sontag • Review of a collection of photographs by Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl o Images of muscular bodies and flawless faces o Celebration of the grace and power of the perfect human form o Also produced a film ▪ Triumph of the Will Cartoons • Don't take part of this sexual power • Don’t take part with the aesthetics of Nazism Maus • “was made in collaboration with Hitler... My anthropomorphized mice carry trace elements of [editorial cartoonist] Flip’s anti -Semitic Jew-as-rat cartoons for Der Sturmer, but by being particularized they are invested with personhood; they stand upright and affirm their humanity. Cartoons personalize; they give specific form to stereotypes” - Art (74) • “In Maus cartoons are not just a shield against the visual pleasures of big screen Nazism but a medium that reverses the process of projection” (author) • Invested with the history and aesthetics of the cartoon • Vladek and Anja confront dead end roads zigzagging like a swastika (77) o A couple trapped in the frame and the comic and of history • The Star of David o Pins Vladek under a spotlight of anti-Semitism • Tattooed serial number on Vladek’s forearm • When panels zoom in o The still images duplicates the dynamic telescoping of the camera lens • Comics can heighten dramatic effect and visual impact o When the dimensions of the comic book screen expand lengthwise ▪ Accentuate the horizontal movement • Comic book narration o Dialogue balloon o Boxed commentary positioned at the top of the frame o These set strict limits on exposition and dialogue
• Maps and diagrams o Wartime Europe o Gas chambers at Auschwitz o These are testimonies to the scholarship that invest the book with historical authority and emotional power • Artie o Petulant son • Vladek o Insufferable human being o Ethnic stereotype o “in some ways he’s just like the racist caricature of the miserly old Jew” (Artie) • Challenges the real comic-book mentalities o Rendering the truth in stereotypes ▪ Ethic group members can be true to form (pg 81) o Lie in stereotypes ▪ The group image defines the individual • Vladek o Defies one stereotype ▪ Holocaust survivor o Seems the same before and after Auschwitz o Romantic o Resourceful o Refuses to be ennobled ▪ “you talk about the blacks the way the Nazis talked about the Jews” - Francoise ▪ His response: “It’s not even to compare the shvartzers and the Jews” • “The true picture of this survivor’s tale is in the cartoons” (author)
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