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Friday, 14 October 2011

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More remarks on our cultural assumption that comics must be appropriate for kids from Dwight Garner’s review of Art Spiegelman’s MetaMaus in the New York Times:
When the book won a young-adult award from librarians, he was peeved. “I’d made something as mature as I was capable of making, and it seemed unfair that I was a victim of a prejudice against my medium,” he says. Ultimately, he says, “I reconciled to the fact that if ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn’ can be considered children’s books, I can settle for ‘Maus’ being on those shelves.”
Gulliver’s Travels is considered appropriate for young readers because of its fantastic element, and because many retellings have been bowdlerized of such scenes as Gulliver putting out a fire for the Lilliputians. Huckleberry Finn gets on that shelf because it has a child as protagonist and narrator. Maus is there because it’s in comics form, with talking animals.


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