I had read Anne Frank’s diary as a kid, but I guess I was too small to appreciate it then. I recently read it again, and when I read the epilogue and found out that she dies just 2-3 months before her camp was liberated, I cried. It was so terrible! She had such dreams and aspirations, but in the end, she was left to die like vermin, like she wasn’t even a human being. 😦
Also, while reading her diary, I realized that I probably wouldn’t have been as wise as she is at her age. She sounds so grown up! That kept bringing a smile to my face as i read it.
And she DIED! 😥
I have diaries from my youth, and I KNOW I wasn’t as wise at her age. I’ve read it several times, and I’m always impressed with her words. It’s so, so sad that she died. And still, her words would be lost to us all had she lived. It’s terrible, and given a choice, I would certainly want her to live, but her diary is a still-living legacy. I don’t think that book will ever die.
The original version was edited by her father, but there’s an unedited version out now. I read that about a year ago, but I don’t recommend it. Her father removed what he considered racier passages (just girl stuff, really) and Anne’s conflicts with her mother. While adding them back made Anne a bit more real in terms of typical girlhood experiences, I thought it detracted from the more mature and thought-provoking aspects of the diary that I had held so close to my heart. Adding those sections back in actually made it more like a diary and less like a work of art. In my opinion. I’m not sure which one you read, and maybe it’s just me reading the book again with older eyes.
You’re right. Even I have diaries from around her age and I sound so foolish in them. I’m either going on and on about irrelevant things in too much detail or whining about stuff. Fuck.
I don’t think her words would be lost had she lived. Perhaps her diary might not have been as huge a legacy as it is now, but she had wanted to be a write and I think she could have been.
“I don’t think that book will ever die.” – It won’t; but it seems sadder for me to think that someone capable of writing it is dead and that she had to die like that. With all those dreams and aspirations unfulfilled.
The one I read recently was the unedited version. I can imagine the parts that were edited out, and in my opinion, the book is more real because of all those parts. There are times when Anne sounds like an angsty teenager going on about how everyone in the attic hates her. But those parts act as a counterpoint to her more thought-provoking passages and make me appreciate them more. It makes me think, she was just your average teenager; but she could write fucking well.
Also, I wanted to read a diary, not a work of art, so yeah 🙂
Those are good points!! I think maybe the biggest thing for me may have just been that it wasn’t the same book I read as a young girl. Because, you’re really right about all that. But I think I was just attached to that original vision I had of her, and that was changed a little when I read the other parts. Of course, it had been years and years between readings, so I also very easily could have built that up in my head – you know how we do – and made it into this mythical kind of memory of how utterly wise and profound she was! That’s really very possible!
Also, you could be right about the legacy, too – I didn’t think about that, that if she lived, it would still have been a diary of a girl who lived in that attic space. It still would have been something well worth reading. Good counter points, lady!! You made me re-evaluate my thinking, which is a marvelous thing to do for someone! 🙂
“But I think I was just attached to that original vision I had of her, and that was changed a little when I read the other parts.” – Yes, that does tend to happen to all of us.
I remember thinking that Enid Blyton’s books were so adventurous, so exciting, so out-of-my-ordinary-life, and it is, but it is hard for me to feel the same emotions when I read Famous Five now 😛
So of course, for you, the silly bits probably stuck out more and seemed sillier still.
“Good counter points, lady!!” – Thanks, I do love a good discussion 🙂
Me too!! I can usually count on you to keep me thinking and I love that!
I absolutely agree with Anne on this one. Such wise words from such a young soul.
I know! It’s amazing that she was able to come up with so much hope and optimism under those conditions. And faith in humankind.
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I'm a writer, podcaster and photographer, sometime poet and philosopher, who is figuring out who she was meant to be.
Blog at WordPress.com.