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Revisiting the Diary : Rereading Anne Frank's Rewriting

From: The Lion and the Unicorn
Volume 28, Number 1, January 2004
pp. 77-95 | 10.1353/uni.2004.0003


In this close reading of The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition (1989), Caplan re-evaluates the Diary's importance in the face of recent doubts by tracing the author's process of revising her personal journal for publication as a "novel." As she added and deleted passages and whole letters, Frank constructed a narrative which would "give pleasure or be useful," distancing the reader into the spectator role of reader-response criticism. The unfinished, re-written Het Achethuis leaves us with a disarmingly chilling account of life in hiding in "The Secret Annex."