"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wMonday, September 13, 2004

UNFUNNYBOOK: The Spectator has my latest, a piece on Art Spiegelman's collection In the Shadow of No Towers:

Spiegelman, author and drafter of the acclaimed World War II tale Maus, lives in Soho, on the northern outskirts of Ground Zero. He and his wife were walking that day, three years ago Saturday, and heard the first plane crash. They turned around to see the first plumes of smoke. Their daughter Nadja had to be evacuated from a school practically at the foot of the towers, and her school took some time to reopen, as it was commandeered to serve as part of the rescue and clean up effort.

That this event would loom large in the artist's imagination is not surprising. In the intro, Spiegelman writes that he wanted to capture a snapshot of something that "didn't get photographed or videotaped into public memory but still remains burned onto the inside of my eyelids several years later" -- that is, "the image of the looming north tower's glowing bones just before it vaporized."

And capture it he does. In eight of the ten strips, there is the spirit of the building: a haze of orange, red, and white bars set against a sky that goes from blue to gray and then seems to swallow everything whole. It's the one thing about this collection which really inspires -- the building itself seemingly refusing to fall without one hell of a struggle -- so of course the author goes out of his way to ruin it for us [more]

posted by Jeremy at 2:25 PM