Well, he's different. Like a cat amongst dogs. Us being the dogs in this case.
When you try to understand him intuitively, you won't get very far. His tail up does not necessarily mean that he is in a good mood, as we dogs might think. So we need an extra pair of glasses when we look at him, otherwise he's just a fuzzy enigmatic boy-like humanoid.
|Revolution in the head|
My hypothesis is thus: Maus' brain is alway in a state of revolution. There is a constant cyclone of mingled thoughts, impressions, affections and emotions turning and twisting in his head. And this constant turmoil keeps him from reacting adequately, keeps him from forming an understanding about the world around him and of the people therein.
Maus scored rather low on an IQ, roundabout 52/56 or so, on the cognitive and performance part. And that puzzled me. His eyes always look so bright and lively. Intelligent.
|Torn - c jenne Bleijenburg|
But nevertheless, I believe there is an intelligent kid somewhere in there, in this strange little boy. Like a bird in a cage. And strange he is. As soon as you start a conversation with him you notice there is something different. He usually starts with a funny or quircky remark, and from there on the dialogue rapidly goes haywire. Talking like he is a Formula 1 car trying to drive a small countryside road full of twists and turns.
"So he is not that smart, but you believe he is intelligent, " you will say, "Does not sound like a very consistent story here. How you reconcile these logically conflicting propositions?"
Well, watch me!
I think it is like this:
Due to the distorted information processing in his brain, where some parts don't seem to coöperate as they should, he is living in a world totally different from ours. What he sees and understands, and what we see and understand, are totally different things. Our world and his world are fundamentally incommensurable. There is no rock bottom proof I can give you for this, just circumstantial evidence. Like the way he talks: Sometimes words just seem to seep out of him, weird words, beautiful words, contractions and sentences like exotic birds and biotopes. He speaks like a poet, but a poet from another country using a misprinted dictionary. And a poet who thinks repetition is a poetic form. And funny as what he says sometimes is, it also contains an element of despair.
I think the source of this mismatching poetry is this twister of thoughts and impressions in his brain.
It may be a stupid sideway, but when I look at him I often think of Berkeley's explanation for the continuity of the phenomena in the world. (Which really made me laugh the first time I read it.) Berkeley thought that sensible things do not have an independent existence, but exist only as collections or corgeries of ideas in the mind. And that then raises the question - how come objects seem to exist continuously, even when no (finite) minds are watching it.
When you put your lunch in a box, the lunch is still there when you open the box three hours later.
Berkeley explains this by stating that: This is proof for the existence of God. Cause he's the one that looks at all things all the time. So they don't disappear. DUH!
Extrapolating this conclusion it is also proof for god having eyes that are lubricated very differently from our eyes, cause it implicates that this god may never blink.
I think Maus is lost in a world without this god, without Berkeleys god, where people, things and situations disappear and reappear. There is no encompassing structure in his world. It is a fragmental world; conceptually, spatially and temporarily. Looking at him with this in mind explains a lot of his behavior. Though it also gives me a rather powerless feeling. Because I have no god to place into his world that will make things right. I cannot change the way his brains work.
But I hope and think that, growing up, his mind will become stronger, and we can give him the mental tools with which he will be able to tame the turmoil, to fight the twisters, and, though more distracted, more careful and conscious of every move and detail around him than most of us, I desperately hope that he will be able to find his way in, and connect to this here world I live in.