One of the discussions we had in class that I would have like to expand on was the “delusions” of the little girl, Cosi. In the book, when Cosi says that her magic is getting better after yelling some “magic” words and poking another student in the eye her mother insists that she go to a psychiatrist. After speaking with Cosi he tells her parents that she is delusional and that she firmly believes that she can do magic like in the Tommy Taylor books. Her mother immidately accepts this explination for her daughter’s behavior and refuses to belive that it is just a child’s imagination running wild. But if we put this into terms we in the “real world” can understand, is she so delusional? What child who read the Harry Potter novels wasn’t the tiniest bit disappointed that their letter from Hogwarts didn’t come when they were 11? I know I was a little when the magical letter didn’t come. At a young age I knew that the Harry Potter world was just pretend/make believe but that doesn’t stop that little bit of childlike hope that some people have that witches and wizards really do exist.
I also found an interview with Nate Powell featured on tfaw.com for this week. While a lot of the interview is focused on the relationship between the two step-siblings featured in the book and how people/families handle mental illness, the interview briefly touches on Powell’s inspirations (for the novel and in life), his hobbies, and his future plans within the industry. Powell mentions that his older brother has a developmental disability, and how he had volunteered with the developmentally disabled for many years before writing this book, but he is very clear when he says that he didn’t take these things as an inspiration for Swallow Me Whole.
Here, in an interview conducted by the BBC, Rutu Modan talks about her novel “Exit Wounds.” She talks about why she set the book in Tel Aviv and speaks about the inspiration for her book. She speaks about how when she was living in Israel, she was dating a boy for a while and then she didn’t hear from him in a while and so she thought he was dead. This interview gives a lot of insight to the Israel that Modan was writing about.
While searching the web I found this interview with Art Spiegelman on YouTube. The interview is about him talking about his drawing style and how he perceives comics. I find it interesting to see an actual interview with him, because I had this picture in my head of him and really seeing him has made the already real book all the more lifelike to me. While the interview isn’t about Maus exclusively, I still find it a very interesting video.
Art Spiegelman Interview
We all learn about the man Nat Turner in American History, but it wasn’t until I read the blurb on the bookjacket that I even realized who exactly this novel was about. The author comments in the foreword about how all these great civil rights leaders (Malcolm X, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman) all cite this man and the rebellion he led as a great inspiration, yet in my American history class there might have been a total of three sentences about him. Telling his story in this format is a good way to get people’s attention.
I like how Nat Turner is formatted, with the story mainly being told in illustrations. The few words that are present are quotes and excepts from scholarly publications about the slave trade or Nat Turner’s life. The backstory of his youth and devout belief in the bible which contributed to his construct of the Rebellion was very detailed and in parts horrifying. The first image that really sticks with me is the author’s portrayal of Nat Turner’s mother’s journey to America on the slave ship, with the dead woman laying next to her and her trying to throw the newborn to the sharks instead of having it live whatever life it may have to lead in the Americas. The illustrations of the actual rebellion were a lot more violent than I had imagined they were going to be, I suppose that’s fitting though because rebellions aren’t typically peaceful gatherings.