Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

April 29, 2015

Copies Of Maus Pulled From Russian Bookshelves In Anticipation Of Forthcoming Law

I missed the first round of stories on this happening, so we can go right to one of the many that folds in author Art Spiegelman's reaction to Russian bookstores pulling Maus off of shelves in anticipation of possible enforcement of a law that forbids Nazi propaganda. Apparently, the edition has a swastika on its cover. The unfortunate inflexibility of such laws and the dangers for the future should be apparent even if you don't pay attention to what Spiegelman says. And yes, the longstanding problem with publishing work with symbols of this nature in Germany is mentioned.

One thing that's interesting to me is the notion brought up by Spiegelman that this is part of an ever-growing difficulty to freely express oneself, even in ostensibly free countries. I think that's an idea worth engaging. My hunch is that population flow and a kind of Internet-driven forced intimacy have put issues out there that weren't really on the table when a lot of the free-speech principles were assumed, but that they're basically the same issues. Me, I just pray we end up arriving at a consensus that allows a space for speech that people dislike or find personally objectionable. I can't conceive of a better way.
posted 2:00 am PST | Permalink

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