Anne was my kind of woman. Reading her diary will result in having a crush on this girl. She had me at the “Quack, Quack, Quack, said Mistress Chatterback” assignment. She was the very definition of an astute and vibrant young intellectual. You could easily call her “bright”, but I’d try to go further. She was a light shining in the darkness. A voracious reader and a language fanatic. A keen observer. A pure humanitarian even though she saw the worst in people up close and in the distance. She was a lady and a scholar.
She was 100% Human. Her diary was the notice she submitted informing the public of this fact (check out The Sorrow and The Pity). It is incredible how lighthearted, for the most part, the Secret Annex families try to keep everything. The Prospectus and Guide to the Secret Annex was pure comedy, an especially rare form forged in environments where it would not appear humor could survive. It was authentic Jewish comedy, a brilliant attempt to diffuse a tense situation, to say the least.
I’m reading the Definitive Edition and I’m not even halfway through, yet I am totally taken back. Upon finishing this work, I believe that Anne Frank will be my personal hero. Her diary has been on my reading list for a while, but I recently picked it up after seeing a title of a short story called What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank in the 2012 Best American Short Stories, which initially inspired me to check out the original work. After learning that Nathan Englander’s short story collection of the same name was a Pulitzer finalist, I began this project with the ultimate aim of reading his story.
I just wanted to share these initial impressions as I really wasn’t expecting this book to blow me away. Later, I’ll have something to say about Englander’s work.