dear penthouse, i couldn’t believe it when i got stuck in an attic with a hot chick named anne…

by marjorieingall on June 22, 2010

In the category of WTF Holocaust Lit, as edited by the Bad Idea Bears of Avenue Q: A fictional retelling of The Diary of Anne Frank, from the perspective of Peter van Pels, the teenage boy whose family was also hiding in the attic. The book is called Annexed (if it had an exclamation point, it could be a musical!) by British teen author Sharon Dogar, and it’s written in the form of Peter’s diary.

In Annexed, Peter lusts for Anne and they have hot steamy cramped attic coupling. (I’m not sure whether it’s sex or just serious fooling around.) Dogar’s publisher says Dogar felt that Peter and Anne did have sex, but that Otto Frank (Anne’s father, who survived the war and edited the diary for publication) took out any reference to it. Dogar herself told the Sunday Times of London that the sexual relationship was “pure conjecture.”

Anne’s 84-year-old first cousin, who runs a charity devoted to her memory, is horrified. “From what Otto told me about Peter, he was very shy but in this book he is given a character he did not possess,” he told the Times (which is behind a paywall, but you can read about it in the Telegraph — I saw the link on Jezebel).

One Jezebel commenter noted that there is a whole school of X-rated fanfic devoted to Anne Frank (I’m SO not linking), and of course Israel loves its “Stalags,” cheap paperback Nazi porn. It makes sense: people react to danger in different ways, and sexuality often involves playing with power and powerlessness. And I believe that great books can come out of unusual ways of retelling Holocaust tales about real people. Look at Maus. But Art Spiegelman had the right to tell that story; it was his and his father’s story. Peter doesn’t have that freedom. He was murdered — he collapsed shortly after completing a death march to Mauthausen concentration camp –and he can’t speak for himself. And I don’t believe he’s a famous figure who has given up his right to privacy by virtue of his fame.

I generally like to read a book before I criticize it (dude, I even read The Morning After!) and it’s only fair to point out that Annexed’s author feels that Peter’s time in the Nazi camps, not his sexytime with Anne, is at the heart of her book. So who knows, maybe when Annexed is published this fall I’ll decide it’s great. But I doubt it.

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more on the diary of not-anne-frank
June 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

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Fawn June 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Some people never outgrow slash fiction, I guess.

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