The following post discusses the recent controversy surrounding Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus, the aftermath of the Shoah, and the ongoing violence in Ukraine. As such, we’re including a general content warning for intense themes and imagery.
As I write this, I am sitting in a cafe near my apartment in Providence, Rhode Island. No one is dropping bombs on us, as I have grown increasingly fond of saying to my eight-year-old daughter, especially when she gets upset about something trivial. On my headphones, Einsturzende Neubauten’s epic “Headcleaner” momentarily bangs away the grieving rage I have been in all week watching Russia invade the country of my grandmother’s birth; on my phone, a video clip of elderly Jewish women Holocaust survivors sheltering underground in Kyiv, cursing Vladimir Putin as his bombs rain down on their city. Any one of them could be my grandmother.