September 10, 2004

Censoring Spiegelman.

Art Spiegelman, promoting "In the Shadow of No Towers," his new book about September 11th, gave an interview this morning on NPR'S "Morning Edition." I've long been a fan of Spiegelman's, because of Maus and Raw, and I am willing to accept a lot of honest self-revelation from someone who experienced the World Trade Center attacks from within ten blocks of the site, but he struck a bad note when he complained about The New Yorker's rejection of the comic strips that ultimately became his new book. (The audio link at the NPR site is not yet available, so I cannot produce a verbatim quote.) In these comics, he portrayed himself as feeling equally threatened by terrorism and by President Bush after September 11th. Although publishers in what he called "Old Europe" accepted the comic strips, The New Yorker would not. This, he said, was "censorship." What writer feels so important that he can call a rejection from The New Yorker censorship?! There is no more desirable placement for writing or comics in this country! You had to go to "Old Europe" to publish? Was there no other place to publish in all of the United States? Was your work published in the equivalent of The New Yorker in Europe? You equate Bush's policies with terrorism, and then when that overdramatization proves unappealing, you equate a rejection from The New Yorker with censorship, further overdramatizing.

UPDATE: Bad link fixed. Sorry. There is a glitch in Blogger. The audio is available at the link now too.

FURTHER UPDATE: I've corrected the title of Spiegelman's book. It is, I'm afraid, "No Towers," not "Two Towers."

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