Spiegelman bibliography

A selection:

| Spiegelman, Art, Signe Wilkinson, Tom Tomorrow, Roz Chast and Diane DiMassa. 1994.

| Mightier than the sorehead [cartoons, stereotypes and politics]. The Nation 258(2; Jan 17):45.

| Spiegelman, Art. 1992. Gloomy Toons [Flood by Eric Drooker review]. New York Times (Dec 27).

|Spiegelman, Art. 1993. 'M' Is for the Many Things She Gave Me. New Yorker (May 10): cover

| Spiegelman, Art. 1993. Valentine's Day [Orthodox Jew kissing black woman]. New Yorker (February 15): cover

| Spiegelman, Art. 1997. Nature vs. Nurture [comic strip]. New Yorker (July 8)

The rest of the bibliography is here.


Swaim interviews Spiegelman

Don Swaim interviewed Spiegelman in 1991 - and there exists RealAudio recording of it (47 minutes long).

Don Swaim has been a journalist, writer, and broadcaster his entire career. He graduated from Ohio University with a degree in broadcast journalism, and worked as an editor, writer, producer, reporter, and anchor at WCBS-AM in New York for many years, and prior to that served at the CBS-TV affiliate in Baltimore. For more than ten years he produced a daily broadcast that focused on books and authors, Book Beat, nationally syndicated by the CBS Radio Stations News Service

you pick up the book and say, "this can't work"

Interview conducted by Stanley Crouch on The Charlie Rose Show in 1996. Watch a video recording of the show. You'll want to know something about the extraordinary Crouch before viewing this.

compression, simplification and devaluation

Robert S. Leventhal's essay "Art Spiegelman's MAUS: Working-Through The Trauma of the Holocaust" is available. Here is a passage about the allegorical quality of the characters:

The reduction of the players to cats (the Nazis), mice (the Jews), pigs (the Poles) and other national stereotypes offers a conscious, intentional miniaturization and reduction, pointing up not merely the process of compression, simplification and devaluation not merely of the Nazis' practices before and during the Holocaust, but the reduction and simplification present in many "responses" to the Holocaust as well. In this way, Spiegelman literalizes the call for petits recits so prevalent in postmodern discourse today, especially in the writings of Jean-Francois Lyotard. On another level, there are multiple narratives and kinds of texts in Maus: in addition to images, dialogue boxes, and commentary, we find maps of Poland and the Camps, diagrams of hideouts, real photographs from the family archive, detailed plans of the crematoria, an exchange table for goods in Auschwitz, and a manual for shoe-repair.

sacred technician

We underestimate what a big breakthrough it was when Jerome Rothenberg in 1972 (one could say this was the height of the American Indian Movement--just to take that cut on the times) decided to say outright that we can "cross[...] the boundaries that separate people of different races & cultures" and indeed set about not only understand but translate American Indian poetic expressions. This is not mild stuff, given the context of that moment: In the face of whatever objections he would meet, he declared that unfortunately "it has become fashionable today to deny the possibility of crossing the boundaries..." etc. But he did just that.

In putting together Shaking the Pumpkin (above I'm quoting from the preface), Rothenberg knew that as an editor, translator and indeed promoter of ethnopoetics, he was "attempt[ing] to restore what has been torn apart." Presumptuous. He could do the mending.

"Come not thus with your gunnes & swords," he quotes Powhatan (speaking to John Smith) in his epigraph, "to invade as foes... What will availe you to take that perforce you may quietly have with love." (Powhatan serves Rothenberg as a Christ figure here.)

Rothenberg was a peacemaker not just in the whites-Native American colloquy. He was making peace (or maybe it's killing with kindness) also with those who would angrily deny the boundary-crossers. Ethnopoetics in this form might seem moderate and even truistic now, but it mapped out (and then made pacific) a real battleground then.

global, archaic, ethnopoetic, anthropological

David Caddy offers a good background to Rothenberg's career and poetics. Go to Caddy's blog and find the text of one of his "So Here We Are" "letters" (go to "Letter 5" dated 9/3/07). You can also hear the audio version of the same, a MiPoRadio podcast. Caddy gives a good introduction to ethnopoetics.

slow to start

Lynne Sharon Schwartz began writing at the age of seven, in her native Brooklyn, New York, and has been writing ever since. But she didn’t begin taking herself seriously as a writer until she was in her early thirties. Up until then she was occupied with attending Barnard College and graduate school at New York University, getting married, having two children, spending a year living in Rome, holding down editorial jobs and working at a fair housing program during the civil rights movement — though not necessarily in that order....

This and much more on Schwartz's web site.

cartooning at 16

Arthur Spiegelman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and immigrated to the United States with his parents in his early childhood. Spiegelman studied cartooning in high school and started drawing professionally at age sixteen. Despite his parents wanting him to become a dentist, Art Spiegelman majored in art and philosophy at Harpur College. After leaving college in 1968, he joined the underground comix movement.... And more at lambiek.net's entry on Spiegelman.

keep open the channels of renewal

Here is an excerpt from Rothenberg's statement for Contemporary Poets 5th edition, 1991 (pp. 827-28). Notice how he associates the development of an alternative poetics with the post-Holocaust era.

Rothenberg's statement is a good summary of his life-work as a poet and global citizen. The enormity of mass destruction and genocide, during Rothenberg's youth, "created a crisis of expression...for which a poetics must be devised if we were to rise, again, beyond the level of a scream or of a silence more terrible than any scream."