Talk:Maus

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Featured article Maus is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on August 22, 2015.


Same sentence -- different question[edit]

The book uses postmodern techniques—most strikingly by representing Jews as mice and other Germans and Poles as cats and pigs.

My question is, how or why is this a postmodern technique? Would need to have a citation for that. And how or why is it "striking"? People have been doing that for centuries. Both of these statements need serious citations. Would probably be easier to just cut out the editorialization and say "The book represents Jews as mice and other Germans and Poles as cats and pigs." Softlavender (talk) 10:15, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

  • "Postmodern" is cited in the body (the lead summarizes the body and therefore requires no citations that are already in the body), and it's not hard to find sources for "Maus postmodern". The animals are not simple traditional anthropomorphism, which is where the postmodernism comes into it: the whole "meta" self-consciousness, etc. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 10:46, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm not questioning that the book has some elements of postmodernism, but I am questioning that the use of different animals to portray different groups of people is postmodern, let alone "strikingly" so. Calling that "postmodern", let alone "strikingly postmodern", needs a citation. The only thing mentioned as postmodern in the body text is the book feeding on itself by telling the story of how it was made, which is a postmodern technique. Using different animals to portray different groups of people had been done long before postmodernism (I'm not talking about simple traditional anthropomorphism). Softlavender (talk) 11:31, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps one could say, in the body of the article, that Maus displays the postmodern quality of being "self-referential". I don't know what the source says. Does anybody have the actual wording in the source? If the source does not speak of the representation of groups of people as strains of animals, then we would be incorrect in the present assertion in the lede. Bus stop (talk) 11:59, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
@Bus stop: That (self-referential) is already cited. What is in question is the question I posed in my OP. Mention in a source that of groups of people are represented as different animals does not equate to that being postmodern, much less strikingly so. Softlavender (talk) 12:11, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree, except if the source says otherwise, in which case I would probably defer to the source. Can anyone provide a a relevant excerpt from the source? Bus stop (talk) 12:25, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
What "source" are you talking about? All sources that describe the book obviously note that different groups of people are represented as different animals, because that's the major device of the book. Softlavender (talk) 12:41, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
The paragraph within the body of the article with the quote "feeds on itself" contains two citations. I don't have ready access to either of those publications. The two publications are the 1997 Monica Wood book and the 2006 James E. Young book. I would be interested in reading the actual wording found in one or both of those publications relating to the "postmodern" dimension to Maus. Bus stop (talk) 16:52, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry. I found it here: "Like any good postmodern memory-art, Maus thereby feeds on itself, recalling its own production, even the choices the artist makes along the way." Bus stop (talk) 16:59, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for finding that. However it's not listed as the source (nor listed anywhere in the citations); in fact the sentence does not have a citation at all. It does indeed appear that that is the source the info was taken from (unless Young repeated himself almost verbatim in the 2006 article). The other three citations in that paragraph are appended to other sentences, and the 2006 Young article cited is not viewable online without a subscription. Anyway, if the 1998 Young article that you posted above is the only source for the postmodernism claim, it only refers to the novel referring to how it was created; that's the only postmodern element. I've checked the two other viewable citations for the other sentences in that paragraph, and they don't contain the word postmodern (or postmodernism/postmodernist), so they aren't referring to the postmodern aspect. At this point it's looking like the mention of postmodernism should be removed from the lede, or if kept it should be another sentence entirely and refer to the actual cited postmodern element instead. Softlavender (talk) 20:48, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it seems the only postmodern element is the book's discussing its own creation. Groups of people represented as different types of animals does not seem to be supported by sources as being a postmodern element. I think we can just omit mention of animals from the lede. Bus stop (talk) 23:26, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't think we can omit the use of the different animal groups in the lede, because that is a major part of the article and book. We can however omit postmodernism in the lede, because that is just one small bit and one sentence in this article. Softlavender (talk) 01:23, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
I'd hardly call its self-referentiality its "only postmodern element"—for instance, here's an article titled "Reading Art Spiegelman's Maus as Postmodern Ethnography", and many sources talk of distancing, etc. Maus is the single most analyzed graphic novel ever written—it's not hard to find sources, which would be a better use of time than discussing your own interpretations of the work or postmodernism. The animal metaphor is meant to (and frequently does) rupture, which is hardly a traditional use of anthropomorphism. The animals are not meant to be animals at all, and in several scenes the animal masks become literal masks. This ain't Mickey Mouse or Animal Farm. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 01:31, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Whatever we say should be supported by a source (obviously) and should be clear to the reader. We still don't have a source supportive of the use of animals as a postmodern element. The above source might support an assertion such as: "Some view Maus as a form of ethnography.'The texts are concerned with depicting the complex relationships among personal histories and larger "official" histories.'" Bus stop (talk) 04:33, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
So what you're saying is we have to have a source for each manifestation of postmodernism in the book to support the statement "The book uses postmodern techniques"? There is no lack of sources. A couple minutes turns up:
* this describing Maus as "postmodern memory-art"
* "postmodern attempt to address the position of second-generation survivors and the difficulties inherent in translating experiences ... into words"
* "comics ... are not intrinsically postmodern, but Spiegelman's use of the form is"
* "Framing the Past: Postmodernism and the Making of Reflective Memory in Art Spiegelman's Maus
* "obviously a work in the postmodern mode"
* [a phenomenon of late twentieth-century postmodernism "Maus could be categorized as 'historiographical metafiction' ... a phenomenon of late twentieth-century postmodernism"]
How many sources is this single word going to be required to be laden with? Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 06:18, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
The point is, the sentence in question in the OP is not backed up by citations. And if the wiki article states that the book uses postmodern techniques, it has to state specifically which techniques, backed up by specific passages in specific citations. Softlavender (talk) 08:17, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
So a source that states it's a postmodern work is not enough? Okay, any other hoops to jump through? Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 08:48, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
A reliable source stating that its a postmodern work is a citation that it's a postmodern work, not for anything more specific than that. Softlavender (talk) 08:55, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
I think it is not always clear what is meant by "postmodern". If the article is to be useful to the reader we should be able to say something more than simply that it is "postmodern" or that it "uses postmodern techniques". How is it postmodern? In what way is it postmodern? To get back to the original question—what source supports that "the book uses postmodern techniques—most strikingly by representing Jews as mice and other Germans and Poles as cats and pigs"? That is a full assertion. It is not enough to merely have a source supporting the first half of the sentence. The implication is that the representation of "Jews as mice" and "other Germans and Poles as cats and pigs" is "strikingly" a "postmodern technique". Is everything about this book postmodern? Perhaps it has some postmodern qualities. If so, we should specify and explain how or in what way these aspects of this book are postmodern. Bus stop (talk) 11:20, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Bus stop: In the body text, the wiki article states one technique of the book which is postmodern. It does not elaborate on any other techniques. That is the only postmodern technique mentioned and cited in this wiki article. Since the current consensus is that there is no current substantiation that the use of specific animals for specific groups of people is a postmodern technique, even vis-a-vis this book, I'm going to remove that part of the sentence for now. Softlavender (talk) 08:36, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

So your solution is to remove "postmodern" entirely from the lead, despite the number of articles that call it a postmodern work? Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 22:10, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome to state that it is a postmodern work in the body text, with citations that substantiate, and then echo it in the lede, in a separate sentence. Or state in the body text that it uses postmodern techniques (plural), if you can specifically list and substantiate with a citation(s) other techniques beyond self-referencing, and then echo that in the lede in a separate sentence. Or alternatively, put the citations for it being a postmodern work in the lede (in a lede sentence that states it is a postmodern work); but whatever choice is made, the word "postmodern" and the mention of the animal symbolism shouldn't be in the same sentence because no citation has been presented that substantiates that as a specifically postmodern technique in this book. Softlavender (talk) 22:31, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Haw haw, but your condescension only makes your disruptiveness the worse. When you are totally aware (as you are) that there is a plethora of sources describing the book as postmodern, then removing that tidbit rather than adding the sources and improving the article is tendentiously making a WP:POINT---totally unacceptable behaviour. If you're not here to improve the article, then take your keyboard skills elsewhere. Perhaps 4chan. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 23:55, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Hi Curly Turkey—in what ways is the book postmodern? I'm not saying it is not postmodern. I'm trying to initiate what will hopefully be a productive conversation. In what ways is "Maus" postmodern? If we can't articulate ways in which the book is postmodern, we can still tell the reader—even in the lede—that the literary critics consider the book postmodern. But I think it would be better if we explained the ways in which some see the book as being postmodern. Can you enumerate the ways in which the book is postmodern? Bus stop (talk) 01:43, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
How about you take a look through the sources and find a wording that conforms to the sources, is concise and readable, and that you find acceptable. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 02:57, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
The potentially problematic sentence has been alleviated. No source specifically supported the assertion that the representation of "Jews as mice and other Germans and Poles as cats and pigs" was a postmodern aspect of this book. I have seen no source supporting that and you have presented no source supportive of that assertion. It would have been irresponsible (original research) of us to assert that "The book uses postmodern techniques—most strikingly by representing Jews as mice and other Germans and Poles as cats and pigs." This is content that should be supported by a source. We should not be telling the reader something that the sources are not telling us. If you are going to argue that many sources refer to the book as being postmodern, I would counter-argue that no source that I have seen specifies the representation of groups of people as animal-types as a postmodern aspect of the book. Note that "Sources should directly support the information as it is presented in the Wikipedia article." Bus stop (talk) 04:47, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Let's try this again: the word "postmodern" was "relieved" from the lead by an editor with a particular POV with the word and who was aware of the number of RSes that talk about the work as postmodern or postmodern aspects of the work. Address that. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 12:27, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
And, of course, if a minimal effort is made, sources can be found for the postmodernity of the animal metaphor. Here's one asserting the animal masks are one of two aspects that make Maus "inevitably" postmodern. Are either of you willing to put in even this minimal effort? Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 12:55, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
That source is a conference paper. Here's the published version. I'm not sure how reputable that journal is, so there may be more reliable sources. Cordless Larry (talk) 12:58, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
The point is that sources are abundant, yet these two don't appear to be willing to look at any of them (even when linked to). Take a look at Bus Stop's question: "in what ways is the book postmodern?" The answer is to google it, FFS. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 13:39, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I've been looking for sources but am going round in circles a bit (probably due to my lack of familiarity with literary studies). This source (and the paragraph ending "That, in 2015, the debate is still ongoing attests to the critical importance and aesthetic, historical and political complexities raised by Maus" in particular) suggests that characterising Maus as postmodern is still subject to some debate. This is quite an accessible read, incidentally. Cordless Larry (talk) 09:23, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
"What is postmodern" is one of those perennial debates that more or less defines postmodernism. There are those who will assert, for instance, that Gravity's Rainbow is the ultimate example of a postmodern novel, while others will deny it's postmodern at all. The fact is that "postmodern" creeps up with great frequency in writings on Maus and many sources define it as "postmodern". We don't get to ignore that just because it doesn't fit our personal defintion of "postmodern". Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 09:28, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm not saying anything about our definition. It's just that the article states that Maus is postmodern as a fact, when there seems to be at least some debate about how best to characterise it. Cordless Larry (talk) 10:04, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
No, the article doesn't define the book as postmodern, it says that Spiegelman "takes a postmodern approach" and used to say "The book uses postmodern techniques" until Softlavender unilaterally removed that. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 10:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
OK, it states that the book takes a postmodern approach as fact, rather than saying that that is an interpretation of it. Anyway, this talk page is too WP:BATTLEGROUND for me, and I don't like the tone of the replies I'm getting when I'm just trying to give the perspective of someone not previously involved in the disagreement, so I'm taking it off my watchlist. Cordless Larry (talk) 11:07, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

IPA[edit]

An editor has asked on the Help Desk if an IPA pronunciation could be added to the article. Is there someone here who knows the correct pronunciation and IPA well enough to add that? Dismas|(talk) 21:05, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

The pronunciation of "mouse" is /mʌʊs/ or /mɛʉs/ in Canadian English, with the Canadian raising. I pronounce the title of the book as it's described here, which is a different way from the way I pronounce "mouse." Roches (talk) 01:37, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Why would you do that? Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 02:01, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

FAR[edit]

I appreciate the fact that Maus article has been featured on the front page of Wikipedia (August 22, 2015) "as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community" (end of quote) with over 20,000 views on that day,[1] but I am (and have been) troubled by the way it is written and I am thinking of nominating if for WP:FAR. Before nomination though, per our policy guideline, I would like to raise issues at talk page of the article (end of quote). I have made only one edit to this article in its entire editing history by quoting a reliable history book from Google explaining the concentration camp labour. I was reverted with a single click. This, nevertheless, has sparked a flurry of activity on my talk page at User talk:Poeticbent#Maus revert. Our discussion went nowhere, and I think I understand why. I also understand why the article is a target of enraged IP user attacks, such as the one from yesterday.

The WP:REDFLAG boils down to 'the pig insult' of course.[2] However, the way it is being handled by the article authors is but a small sample of serious problems with neutrality going far beyond racism. The whole article (including its so-called criticism) is a straight forward tribute to the subject, in conflict with Wikipedia's mission. Maus, the graphic novel, is devoted to a single real-life episode from the vast mass of material about the Holocaust in occupied Poland. It has been fictionalized similar to any historical period drama, and that's where similarities end. Huge parts of this article are devoted to Maus 'synopsis' and 'background'. The background of Maus of course ... not the historical background of the Sosnowiec Ghetto where the events take place. The article say little to nothing about the real Nazi German language of propaganda, where 'the pig insult' originated. – The Nazis did not refer to the Jewish people as mice in Der Ewige Jude; they used to say "Sie vermehren sich wie die Ratten" in their hateful plots; a chaotic mess of rats. The author of the novel can say whatever he wants ... he can call Polish people pigs, however, here in Wikipedia we cannot do that. Maus was produced during Cold War, decades ahead of the collapse of the Soviet empire followed by all the revelations about the communist crimes. There's nothing about the Cold War stereotypes in this article, disseminated in some American communities attempting to come to grips with their past and their public image. The article is written in a historical vacuum. Poeticbent talk 16:05, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

The author ... can call Polish people pigs, however, here in Wikipedia we cannot do that—and of course never do. Further commenters need to keep this bizarre comment in mind when addressing what Poeticbent has written above.
Here's Poeticbent's edit that I reverted, which includes an extremely devious rewording of "little stereotyping" to "much stereotyping" with no source to support it, as well as an extremely poor kludge of an attempt to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. Here is my explanation for the revert at Poeticbent's talk page, with an offer to find a way to deal with the issue in a Wikipedia-appropriate manner. The "discussion" quickly devolved into threats and accusations, and no attempt on Poeticbent's part to find any kind of workable solution whatsoever.
Here's an interesting article by Tomasz Łysak that could be used to beef up the Polish angle—but of course should not be allowed to eat up the article. There's already a paragraph in the article dealing with these issues—including accusations of Spiegelman employing an "ethnic slur"—of which Poeticbent seems blissfully unaware (I'll AGF and call it an oversight). Poeticbent needs to keep in mind issues of WP:OR, WP:SYNTHESIS, WP:WEIGHT, etc, which the editor seems almost committed to violating. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 22:26, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

I would love to see editors other than Curly Turkey, involved in bringing this entry up to an FA level, contribute to this thread also. However, in the last 10 days nobody else said anything at all. – There is only a continuation of the same belittling of virtually everything I said, repeated by Curly Turkey on my talk page, and coupled with the laundry list of internal links in capital letters, with no relevance to the subject of my inquiry. I have already alerted Curly Turkey to the fact that there's absolutely nothing in LaCapra about the quote-unquote "little stereotyping among the Poles" [3] As a result Curly Turkey himself removed that line from the article, nevertheless, he chose to continue with the insults (quote): "bizarre comment" ... "an extremely devious rewording" ... "an extremely poor kludge" ... and so on. Please compare this with the user's own statement on my talk page (quote): I may have misinterpreted the source ... etc. Everything being taken into account, the complete absence of historical background to the Holocaust with special consideration given to the Sosnowiec Ghetto in occupied Poland with its courageous uprising, makes this article unbalanced and un-encyclopaedic. It is a tribute to Maus comic strip, with all voices of reason, pointing out to its graphic representation 'inspired by Goebbels', immediately dubbed by carefully selected commentators as radical right-wing. Clearly, the problems cannot be resolved here. Therefore, the next step in the WP:FAR process is only the remaining option, because the article is not neutral at all, with the sections on the Maus political impact abroad and surrounding controversy decidedly substandard. Poeticbent talk 19:23, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

  • I dont see any serious problems expressed here just some OR and "I dont like that". A serious concern would have to show that the article misrepresents what reliable sources about the specific topic of the article write. That would require presenting some sources in support of specific concerns, not vague discomfort with the Spiegelmans artistic choices.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 00:17, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

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Strange edits[edit]

Josve05a and Jasonanaggie, can you please explain why the two of you are repeatedly making edits like this and this to this article despite the obvious objection of other editors? It seems that you are running a script on the page which produces a misleading edit summary ("Tagging 3 dead links") when you are indeed doing more than tagging dead links. I don't even know why the script makes such edits, as it's taking a direct link and linking it to a redirect. --Laser brain (talk) 16:35, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

This is the result of the Disambiguation DABFix Program. If you try it out on the page you will see what happens when someone gets this article as a random page to fix. It is not really the fault of the editor as you cannot see the entire page in the script that fixes the pages.Jasonanaggie (talk) 19:03, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Since you are responsible for the edits made by the Jasonanaggie account, yes, it is the fault of the editor. For mindlessly running scripts.Volunteer Marek (talk) 19:07, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Please see my response here. (tJosve05a (c) 02:32, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

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