Monday, March 12, 2012

Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, The Afterlife

Francine Prose’s book:  Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, The Afterlife, is essential to read to gain an understanding of Anne Frank’s diary as literature.  Usually examined as a historical document, Prose makes a convincing case that Anne Frank was creating a conscious piece of art, a kind of epistolary memoir.  She offers abundant proof to support this, walking us through the book's compositional history.  

For anyone interested in the diary for the first time, or coming back after not having read it for years, Prose’s book is a great key to a new understanding of the seminal work.

Prose also gets into the broad picture of Anne Frank’s work and her image.  She explores the plays and movies, the lawsuits and controversy, as Anne Frank became in the years following her murder, as she says, Hitler’s most famous victim.

But all the time Prose is respectful.  It is obvious that the diary of Anne Frank (and her other works) are a serious issue; and that stance comes through in this book in the refreshing, kind, and strong positions Prose takes regarding Anne Frank and her written legacy.

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