Posted in Reading, Teaching, Writing

ENG 111: You’ve Got to . . .

You’ve Got to Read This, edited by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard, the book that inspired the You’ve Got to . . . Assignment

Today we will return briefly to our study of Maus, but we will focus primarily on your second short writing assignment, the “You’ve Got to . . .” assignment, which is now posted in Moodle. I have included an additional copy of the assignment below. (See the link and the small rectangle labeled download.)

I am in the process of writing a model YGT (“You’ve Got to . . .”) assignment for you and  will publish it on my blog on Wednesday morning.

Because this is a brand-new assignment, I cannot offer you samples from previous semesters. But remember, you will have a sample on Wednesday morning. In the meantime, you can look to the two paragraphs devoted to Maus in my January 27 blog post as a model of sorts. The first paragraph is a summary, as the first paragraph of yours will be. The second paragraph is an analysis; similarly, your second paragraph will be a reflection or an informal analysis. Together, my two paragraphs on Maus are 172 words long, which is slightly longer than your minimum requirement of 150 words. 

Continuing Our Study of Maus

Last week, in my notes on Maus, I focused Spiegelman’s  book as a memoir, or a narrative of memories. Unlike an autobiography or a biography, which aims to  present a comprehensive account of a subject’s life, a memoir usually focuses on one period of a person’s life or one aspect of it. Maus I centers on the life of the writer’s father, Vladek Spiegelman, in the years leading up to the war and during the war and the Holocaust. But Maus is also a dual memoir, a story of both Vladek and his son, the comic artist Art, and a meta-memoir, a memoir about the memoir-writing process.

Consider how Chapter 1 demonstrates how Art Spiegelman’s book is both a dual memoir and a meta-memoir. Note how the panel below illustrates the concept of meta-memoir.

Spiegelman, Art. Maus I. Pantheon, 1986. p. 12.

In the panel, Art says to his father, “I still want to draw that book about you . . . .” (12). When we read those words of Spiegelman’s, we know that the book that he’s referring to is the one that we’re holding in our hands. He is writing about the process of writing and drawing his father’s story, and we see that on the page as he draws himself recording his father’s memories.


Spiegelman, Art. Maus I. Pantheon, 1986.