Much like Mary Tudor and Anne Boleyn, summer and I are the antithesis of amicable. I hate heat. I heat sweat. I hate seeing human skin. I hate swimming. I hate sunlight. All of these tasteless traits are allotted a starring role in June, July, and August. Already, I want winter to come. The cold, the frost, snow, booties, mittens! Winter is sort of more elaborate than summer. While I never want to be a part of this world, (and by this world, I mean you-know-whos with you-know-what values), I really don’t want to be a part of this world in the summer. Since Mary refused to recognize Anne as England’s queen, I’ll refuse to recognize summer. Instead, I’ll read books (one, obviously, should always read books, since it’s one of the utmost Christian activities), including:
FunSize&BiteSize by Ji Yoon Lee: She resembles a cute tiny kitty who everyone wants to pet, only no one actually does, since nearly everyone is aware that if you attempt to do such a thing then she’ll bite you, and while that bite may not hurt much at first, eventually it’ll turn into a disease much more fatal than the kind gay people get. A preview: “Fetishize my misery / Not white American male’s.”
I Will Never Be Beautiful Enough to Make Us Beautiful Together by Mira Gonzalez: She seems sad, depressed, moody, discontent, and all the other things that most anyone with any perceptiveness would be right now. She also has a rather captivating name. “Mira” is light and delicate, like a fine piece of fabric. “Gonzalez” is also the last name of the former Texas Ranger baseball player Juan Gonzalez. This All Star constantly hit home runs, which are quite dramatic. Preview: “i feel like 400 dead jellyfish in the middle of a freeway.”
Lemonworld & Other Poems by Carina Finn: She’s basically a modern princess (one of the poems in this book is titled “modern princess”) who has come home for winter break to visit her mommy and sigh flippantly and eloquently at the whole entire universe. Carina likes yummy food (browniemix), fashion accessories, like ribbons, violence (“peace is a field of graves”), and the types of things Gertrude Stein would like — “16-year-old girl looking to buy a moustache.” To spotlight her forceful mercuriality, Carina includes plentiful exclamation points, one of the most comely types of punctuation marks ever. A couplet: “don’t trump the mode / there’s a rabbit in the marshmallow!”
Pageant Rhymes by JonBenét Ramsey: Last summer, the cute Tumblr literary corporation Bambi Muse published Baby Adolf’s Nursery Rhymes to much acclaim. Even presumed adversities (presumed, due to a certain trait) were laudatory. “Nothing to complain ’bout here,” was Saul Bellow’s hearty response. This summer, Bambi Muse will publish a collection of couplets by the sensational JonBenét. The verse touches on yummy victuals, fashion, and other things. A couplet: “Cheddar broccoli soup is most profound. / I was killed in my pink Barbie nightgown.”
Taipei by Tao Lin: This boy, though a straight boy, seems like a manipulative psychopath, so I’m invariably curious about his compositions.
TwERk by Latasha N. Nevada Diggs: A little bit ago, Joyelle McSweeney posted about these poems. From what I’ve read, they contain the qualities of a circus as well as a loud, unmitigated drag ball. Even the author’s name teems with theatrics. Nevada is home to quite a few cinematic creations, like Casino (a mafia movie) and Liberace (a boy first and now a movie starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon).
The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank: I’ve read this book bountifully, obviously, and I will continue to do so during the summer months (and I’m not talking about the Sex and the City version either!) Caitlin Flanagan says Anne is an “imp, a brat, a narcissist, a sulker, a manipulator, a manic talker, a flirt, and a person who insisted on the rapt attention of everyone around her at one moment, and on the pure privacy that all misunderstood people demand at the next. ”
Petocha/Chiflada by Monica McClure: The sharply chic Mona is publishing a bratty chapbook with wtfislongsdrugspress, a new press founded by Carina and Stephanie Berger, the princess of The Poetry Festival. It’s invariably estimable when tiny, pretty girls work together on a particular project, it’s kind of like an episode of The Babysitters Club.
The Bible: A ton of people are on a path to hell, but by perusing this text (not just for summer, either) they just may be able to take the trail to heaven, where Edie Sedgwick and Edith Sitwell convene tea parties.
The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank
Bantam Books, 1993
304 pages / $5.99 buy from Powell’s
1. I want to write about Anne Frank. I am mid-way through reading The Diary of a Young Girl and I know what is coming. The discovery of the eight inhabitants of the annex, their arrests, their being shipped to concentration camps. Their deaths. I know this is coming, but I do not want it to happen.
2. I have slowed my reading. Normally I read fast. A book every 2-3 days. But I have dragged Anne’s diary out for over a week now to forestall the ending.
3. When I first begin reading, I am conscious of wanting to have some kind of emotional reaction to The Diary of a Young Girl. I want Anne’s writing to affect me, but am worried that the desire to feel something w/r/t Anne Frank is somehow wrong.
4. Not only that, but I worry that wanting to feel something, and being conscious of that want, will actually preclude me from feeling anything.
5. In her diary, Anne makes reference to other things she has written: fairy tales and the opening of a novel. I want to read them. I google ‘anne frank fiction’. The results are confounding. On the first page of results are a number of links claiming that Anne Frank’s diary is itself fiction. I do not click on these links and I shake my head and scroll down further.
6. There is a link entitled ‘Do you know where I can read an Anne Frank fanfiction?’ and I get excited. It seems to me a wonderful idea to write fan fiction. I click on the link and read:
The reason it’s no longer at fanfiction.net is due to a petition stating writing about her is disrespectful and a violation of the rules as she is not a fictional character.
Um, pretty much all else I could come up with involved cross-overs, mainly one about Dragon Ball Z in which Hitler becomes a super saiyan. Good luck in your search, but as the diary isn’t fiction, trying to add fiction to it may take more away than add to her story, sad though the end may be.
7. When Anne writes about her feelings for Peter van Pels, it breaks my heart. It makes me feel sick and it makes me grit my teeth that the two of them will be dead once I have finished reading.
8. Other things that make me feel sick and make me grit my teeth: that Anne was unable to do everything she wished to do. That she wanted to be a reporter and a writer and she wanted to be married and she wanted someone to love and share her true self with and that she was unable to do this.
9. I think that maybe I could write a different ending for her. I could write the life that she never got to live.
10. Is wanting to write a different ending for Anne cruel and in bad taste? Would it ‘take more away than add’ to her story? READ MORE >
January 1st, 2013 / 4:14 pm
While we’re on the topic of the modification of Huck Finn, here’s something interesting posted on the Give a Fig (Les Figues Press) blog:
The effacement of the clitoris extends even to Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl. When the unabridged edition of the diaries were released in 1995, the 50th anniversary of her death, they included the previously deleted passages that contained some of Anne’s negative remarks about her housemates and parents as well as a lengthy entry from March 24, 1944 in which she describes her vulva, clitoris, and vagina from the perspective of her own fifteen year old gaze:
“…Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn’t realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris…When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you’re standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down and they’re very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris…”