Saturday, August 02, 2014

Multiple Perspectives and Super Powers

In the past couple of months I've read these three books:


The Book Thief I discussed in my review here. The second and third are memoirs written by women who knew Anne Frank. Reading them were like looking at a single sculpture from different sides, different angles. And next I'm going to reread Anne Frank's diary itself.

Some books are important as escapes, some drive the imagination, some make us think or make us laugh. I think these are important as reminders, as humans to empathize and realize. When Gies is talking about her struggles to find food for her family, walking hours under fear of detection for a few potatoes or beets, I was thinking about my Tim's drive through trip for my hot sausage and cheese on a biscuit, the expired food in my fridge that just went bad because we were too busy to eat it this week.

And it's not outdated. We can read these books and gasp at the unimaginable atrocities, wonder how it's possible it could have happened and forget it's still happening now. Words have power, and written stories give their writers a super power Long after the Germans surrendered and pulled out of Holland these stories remain. The way time passes, the people who died would have been old enough now to have passed even if they had survived... but these stories can still be shared and can still have impact. Their super power is immortality, maybe.


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