Taken January 27, 2022 in Los Angeles, Calif., This illustrated photo shows a person holding Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel “Mouse.”
Maroshiranosian | AFP | Getty Images
A decade-old graphic novel “Mouse” about the impact of the Holocaust on families, Recently became an Amazon bestseller As part of the backlash against the news that it happened Banned by the Tennessee Board of Education From the 8th grade curriculum.
The McMinn County Board of Education says it has taken that step. On January 10th, it turned out to be upset, with some blasphemous words in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book and “depictions of violence and suicide.” The board’s decision was unanimous.
Created by Art Spiegelman, this book was part of a curriculum focused on the Holocaust, where his parents lived in concentration camps.
Friday’s “The Complete Maus” # 1 among Amazon’s bestsellers in the comic and graphic novel category, 4th in literature, 5th in biography.
In addition to leading to a flood of book demand in Amazon, the McMin Commission ban has spurred other people to make books more accessible to readers.
One of them, Professor Scott Denham of Davidson College in North Carolina, is serving 8th grade and high school McMinn County students. Online class of “Maus”.“”
“I’ve taught Spiegelman’s books many times on my course in the Holocaust over the years,” Denham says on his website.
Owner of Richard Davis Nirvana Comics Bookstore Knoxville, Tennessee offers “The Complete Maus” loans to all students.
We also established Davis, which has a store within 15 miles of McMinn County. Buy more copies of “Maus” for rent and eventually donate to students in the GoFundMe campaign.. That effort easily exceeded the initial goal of $ 10,000 by Friday afternoon.
“We are receiving requests for copies from parents across the country, including Europe,” Davis said.
He believes that the surprisingly strong reaction reflects the view that “it’s not what we’re doing in America:’we don’t ban books.’”
“It evoked a very American reaction,” he said.
A donor on this page writes: “Forbidden books are arguably one of the most important, and especially for now, the’mouse’is very important.”
Cartoonist Art Spiegelman is the French Institute Alliance Francaise’s “After Charlie: What’s Next for Art, Satire and Censorship” at Florence Gould Hall on February 19, 2015 in New York City. I will attend.
Mark Sagliocco | Getty Images
The author of this book told CNBC by email:
“The school board could have confirmed with the predecessor of the forbidden book. [Russia President] Vladimir Putin: He made the Russian version of the mouse illegal in 2015 (and in good faith-banned the swastika), and the small publisher sold out quickly and had to be reprinted repeatedly. ” Man is writing.
“The Streisand effect has hit again,” he added, to the phenomenon that efforts to actually ban something, named after superstar singer Barbra Streisand, have raised public awareness of it. Mentioned.
Spiegelman, 73, also held a public / zoom event in the McMin area where his lecture agent said, “I … talk and ask questions about mice with local citizens (preferably teachers, students, priests, etc.). I’m trying to make adjustments, “he told CNBC. In the next few weeks. “
The school board president did not immediately respond to increased book sales and requests for comment on Spiegelman’s comments.
The McMinn ban was not widely known until Wednesday when the local online news agency Tennessee Horror announced it.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning book in 1992 tells the story of Spiegelmann’s parents’ days in the Nazi death camp, the mass murder of other Jews, and the suicide of his mother a few years later.
In the “mouse”, groups of people are depicted as different kinds of animals. Jews are mice, Poles are pigs, and Nazi Germans are cats.
The minutes of McMin’s school board, where the book was banned, said some parents supported the idea of teaching the Holocaust, but showed that there was a problem with the blasphemous expression of the book. I am. There was also a problem with the image of a nude woman who was Spiegelman’s mother.
“We can teach them history and we can teach them the history of graphics,” said board member Mike Cochran, according to the minutes of the meeting. “We can tell them exactly what happened, but we don’t need all the nakedness or everything else.”
However, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, disputed the idea in a tweet Wednesday after news of the ban, saying, “‘Mouse’ played an important role in educating the Holocaust.” “I will teach you about the Holocaust using books,” he said. Like a mouse, you can encourage students to think critically about their roles and responsibilities in the past and today. “
Spiegelman told CNBC on Wednesday that he “meeted many young people who learned things from my books” about the Holocaust.
Davis, owner of Knoxville’s Nirvana Comics, also agreed.
“The’mouse’changed my life, and the’mouse’changed the way I see the world,” Davis said in an interview on Friday, “I read it dozens of times, and I sobbed every time. “.
He said the book “beyond the original medium. It’s not a comic book, but an important historical document that provides a perspective on one of the most horrifying events in history.”
But Davis also said that the fact that the “mouse” is a graphic novel is “probably the most effective book to teach the Holocaust, especially to school children.”
“Today’s teenagers are used to reading comics,” he said. “The’mouse’is a very heavy reading, but the graphic novel format makes it more familiar.”
“This is one of the books that everyone should read and should be included in the curriculum of every school,” he said.
“The end result of the ban is negatively impacting Tennessee because it perpetuates the feeling that people in the South are retreating,” Davis said.
“Unfortunately we live in an era where one complaint or a few complaints can lead to a ban on books such as” Maus. “
“surely [McMinn] I thought my parents and the school board were in good faith and protected my children. “
“But really these parents, I think their good intentions have had very negative consequences. They are hurting their children by trying to keep them away from books like” Mouse “. I think, “Davis said. “They are trying to protect everything from children.”
“Maus” is Amazon’s bestseller after school ban in Tennessee
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