Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Fortunately, I do have the time and patience, during my long bus commute hours to read prose : novels, YA and graphic novels… I pick them randomly from the Library’s shelves. I read them because a friend had once chucked a remark at me or my earthwalking friend has a sac full of goodies for me.
I only picked “Infidel” from the library shelf because it was in the near vicinity of the definitive edition of “The Diary Of A Young Girl” by Anna Frank. This edition was suggested involuntary by O. It adds back in all the paragraphs eliminated by Otto Frank for the 1947 edition because of length requirements or issues he had considered inappropriate such Anne’s open accounts on sexuality. And it is based mainly on the b version of the diary. I must confess that when reading it unabridged and uncensored by an adult it had brought Anne much closer to me as a teenager – the teenager I was once, the teenager my son is. When I finished it though, I was weighted down by the same rhetorical question: How can one be so blind to ignore the intrinsic qualities of this young girl –her sensitivity and intelligence, her humanity. How can one be blind to the promises her future held for her just because he belongs to another religion? How can we be so blind?”
It was no coincidence perhaps that both books were so close to each other on the shelf as they do have one thing in common , one space that is not a mere geographical one, i.e. Holland. A place best described by Theo van Gogh’s comment : “If I can’t put my name on my own film, in Holland, then Holland isn’t Holland any more, and I am not me”***
The connection transposed in the shelf space by librarians at Carnegie Library is only one a the few events that made me change my opinion on the usefulness of librarians in US. But this is another story for another time...
*Thank you Gwen, aka Art Predator, for the invitation.
**though my mom in her role of black sheep of the family did not forget to stress that in her opinion Jewish men were better at respecting their wife and remaining faithful to them , she was biased that way I guess.
*** “Infidel” , Introduction, p xii. The quotation was Theo van Gogh’s answer to the suggestion that he remove his name from the short he made together with the book’s author (submission, part 1). The projected part 2 was never completed because Theo van Gogh was killed by a Muslim fundamentalist in November 2004.