Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Anne Frank: a diary for posterity

Sunday, 14 June 1942

On Friday, June 12th, I woke up at six o’clock and no wonder; it was my birthday. But of course I was not allowed to get up at that hour, so I had to control my curiosity until a quarter to seven. Then I could bear it no longer, and went to the dinning room, where I received a warm welcome from Moortje (the cat).

Does the above paragraph sound familiar to you? To me it sounds like something any teenager might write in a diary, a place where your thoughts and secrets are safe. However, this paragraph and the rest of the diary have gone far beyond what its young author might have imagined. Today it is recognized as one of the most important works of literature in the history of humanity and has been translated into 70 languages. Of course, we are talking about The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Last Monday, June 25, 2007, was the sixtieth anniversary of its publication.

At first, Anne Frank’s diary was seen mainly as a window to life and its horrors for Jews under the Nazi regime, but increasingly it has also been recognized for its literary quality. Through Anne Frank’s writing we see ourselves as teenagers -- dealing with our siblings, worried about our looks, and dreaming about our future. The universality of her hopes, fears, and dreams has made this a book widely read by teenagers and adults around the world.

If you haven’t read this book yet, it’s not too late! You can find copies in our library, as well as biographies about its talented author:

Anne Frank: the diary of a young girl

Readings on the Diary of a young girl

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