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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues. Visit us at http://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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Does Anne Frank Copyright Extension Rewrite History?

Does Anne Frank Copyright Extension Rewrite History? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
The foundation that holds the copyright to The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank plans to add her father as a co-author to extend the term of copyright.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

20 November 2015

 

There is something terribly sad about this article. In my oft-odd way of thinking, I am reminded of the recent publication of Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee's apparent very rough draft for To Kill A Mockingbird. 

The "connection" that comes to mind revolves around the damage that can be done to a book when some historical tidbit becomes sensationalized in ways that threaten the author's reputation.

 

In the case of Harper Lee, the publication of Go Set A Watchman, even in pre-publication, immediately became sensationalized pointing all attention to the possibility that Atticus Finch was actually a racist and that Harper Lee could also be a very mediocre writer. While at the same time playing down the more important serious questions about whether Harper Collins had actually secured the rights to publish Go Set A Watchman. It is not difficult to become suspicious that Harper Collins' decision to consider very thin evidence "proof enough" that Harper Lee somehow, maybe in a sort of way, was probably okay, with the publication. Potential damage to Harper Lee's literary reputation and to the reputation of one of literature's greatest protagonists be damned. There's profit to be made in publishing Go Set a Watchman. 

 

Harper Lee, like virtually all published authors, had taken the advise of a professional editor, and recognized that serious revision was in order, leading to the much improved To Kill A Mockingbird. And, I suspect like virtually all published authors, she kept the first draft of her first novel as a personal keepsake. 

 

As to The Diaries of a Young Girl, the idea of changing the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author raises concerns and suspicions that threaten the importance of having Anne Frank's tragic story available to touch our hearts and to influence our moral compasses. 

 

The article points at two sad possibilities that may become the focal point of sensationalistic misdirection. The first being that the primary purpose of changing the authorship might be to work around copyright laws that would put the work into the public domain. The second being that there is something disreputable about the possibility that Otto Frank acted as an editor for the diary. There are acceptable defenses in both cases.

 

In the first case, particularly since the diary is a work relating to the horrors of the Holocaust, the end of copyright protection puts the work in the hands of Holocaust deniers who have ceaselessly taken every opportunity to spread their vile intentions. We can be sure they will be loud and unreliable in their exploitation of the end of copyright protection.

 

In the second case, changing of the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author shifts his role from having a degree of acceptibility as an editor to what the anti-factual haters can sensationalize as being proof of the story being little more than a deceitful fabrication; discrediting the essential truth of the story.

 

Did Anne Frank actually write the diary with intentions to publish? That may be unlikely. She was a young girl keeping a diary. Had she survived would the diary have taken on an importance that might have led her to polish the story a bit, perhaps with an editor? I would like to think so. Can Otto Frank be faulted for recognizing the importance of the content of his daughter's diary? I don't think so. 

I do not know how much liberty Otto Frank took when editing the diary. I do not know to what degree he trimmed or enhanced the story. I do know that the essential narrative has served humanity in very important ways. 

 

The questions raised in this article are fair. Are there ulterior motives at play? However there are responsibilities associated with raising those questions lest in pursuit of answers run the risk, exemplified by the article's title, of misdirecting attention towards what can be sensationalized as sharing negative assumptions similar to  the distortion of the historical record often associated with the code phrase "revisionist history." 

If we care, we must be careful. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Brought to you by GLT Global ED (dba Google Lit Trips) an educational nonprofit

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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:15 AM

20 November 2015

 

There is something terribly sad about this article. In my oft-odd way of thinking, I am reminded of the recent publication of Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee's apparent very rough draft for To Kill A Mockingbird. 

The "connection" that comes to mind revolves around the damage that can be done to a book when some historical tidbit becomes sensationalized in ways that threaten the author's reputation.

 

In the case of Harper Lee, the publication of Go Set A Watchman, even in pre-publication, immediately became sensationalized pointing all attention to the possibility that Atticus Finch was actually a racist and that Harper Lee could also be a very mediocre writer. While at the same time playing down the more important serious questions about whether Harper Collins had actually secured the rights to publish Go Set A Watchman. It is not difficult to become suspicious that Harper Collins' decision to consider very thin evidence "proof enough" that Harper Lee somehow, maybe in a sort of way, was probably okay, with the publication. Potential damage to Harper Lee's literary reputation and to the reputation of one of literature's greatest protagonists be damned. There's profit to be made in publishing Go Set a Watchman. 

 

Harper Lee, like virtually all published authors, had taken the advise of a professional editor, and recognized that serious revision was in order, leading to the much improved To Kill A Mockingbird. And, I suspect like virtually all published authors, she kept the first draft of her first novel as a personal keepsake. 

 

As to The Diaries of a Young Girl, the idea of changing the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author raises concerns and suspicions that threaten the importance of having Anne Frank's tragic story available to touch our hearts and to influence our moral compasses. 

 

The article points at two sad possibilities that may become the focal point of sensationalistic misdirection. The first being that the primary purpose of changing the authorship might be to work around copyright laws that would put the work into the public domain. The second being that there is something disreputable about the possibility that Otto Frank acted as an editor for the diary. There are acceptable defenses in both cases.

 

In the first case, particularly since the diary is a work relating to the horrors of the Holocaust, the end of copyright protection puts the work in the hands of Holocaust deniers who have ceaselessly taken every opportunity to spread their vile intentions. We can be sure they will be loud and unreliable in their exploitation of the end of copyright protection.

 

In the second case, changing of the authorship to include Otto Frank as a co-author shifts his role from having a degree of acceptibility as an editor to what the anti-factual haters can sensationalize as being proof of the story being little more than a deceitful fabrication; discrediting the essential truth of the story.

 

Did Anne Frank actually write the diary with intentions to publish? That may be unlikely. She was a young girl keeping a diary. Had she survived would the diary have taken on an importance that might have led her to polish the story a bit, perhaps with an editor? I would like to think so. Can Otto Frank be faulted for recognizing the importance of the content of his daughter's diary? I don't think so. 

I do not know how much liberty Otto Frank took when editing the diary. I do not know to what degree he trimmed or enhanced the story. I do know that the essential narrative has served humanity in very important ways. 

 

The questions raised in this article are fair. Are there ulterior motives at play? However there are responsibilities associated with raising those questions lest in pursuit of answers run the risk, exemplified by the article's title, of misdirecting attention towards what can be sensationalized as sharing negative assumptions similar to  the distortion of the historical record often associated with the code phrase "revisionist history." 

If we care, we must be careful. 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Brought to you by GLT Global ED (dba Google Lit Trips) an educational nonprofit

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Google Lit Trips is proud to announce the addition of the . This Lit Trip was co-developed by Library Media Specialist Anne Brusca, who is also the developer of the popular Google Lit Trip for A Family Apart by Joan Lowery Nixon as well as the Google Lit Trip for Flesh & Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin and Google Lit Trip founder, Jerome Burg.

 

This Google Lit Trip includes several placemarks mentioned in the diary including placemarks for:

 

Anne Frank's Birthplace containing a link to an interactive Timeline for the Frank family. The Timeline is rich in embedded media related to the Frank family from 1914 through 2012.

 

Anne Frank's Home: Where the Frank family lived prior to moving to the Secret Annex. Flying to this placemark goes directly into Google Earth Streetview" where students can see the very place where the family lived as it looks today. This placemark contains a link to the only known video footage of Anne Frank. Students will see the very window in Street View from which Anne appears in the video.

 

Anne's father's business commonly referred to as the "Anne Frank" Building: This placemark includes an historical aerial photograph with the building in which Otto' Frank's business was located tinted blue. It is easy to see that the Annex which is behind the blue tinted building is not visible from the street.

 

The Secret Annex: This placemark shifts the view to a bird's eye view showing the secret annex behind the street-side building and contains a link to a virtual walk-through tour of the entire Secret Annex. 

 

The Westerbrook Transit Camp: This placemark contains an image of the very hut in which the Frank family stayed while at the Westerbork Transit Camp. It also contains a link to a short video about the the memorial now located on the grounds of the Westerbork Transit Camp and a link to an exquisite photo slide show capturing the "feeling" of the place today as it has been set-aside to remember those who passed through this camp on their way to the unimaginable destinies that lay ahead for them.

 

Auschwitz Concentration Camp: This placemark contains a link to a 2 minute video about a photo book that presents,  "... 31 historical photographs taken by SS men in 1944 depicting the extermination of Jews in the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. They were set in contrast with present-day photographs of the same locations...." There is also a link to a website with more information about the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

 

Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp: This placemark marks the spot in the desolate area where the Bergen-Belsen Concentration once was and where Anne and her sister died.

 

Lest We Forget: This placemark is provides a view of the Yad Vashem 

The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority
Jerusalem Israel. It also has links to other Holocaust Museums with interactive exhibits and other educational resources.

 

Those educators responsible for addressing Common Core State Standards for both literary reading and Informational reading and particularly those interested in cross-curricular studies will find this a valueable addition to: your students' learning experiences.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

Google Lit Trips is the legal Fictitious business name of GLT Global ED, a 501c3 tax-exempt educational nonprofit.

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Who Needs Anne Frank?

Who Needs Anne Frank? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
My son's connection to World War II in 2010 was very different from mine in 1975 or my parents' in the 1950s. Jesse's Anne Frank is not my Anne Frank, and my Anne Frank is not my parents'.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

I almost chose to pass this one by...for several reasons.

 

Having been raised in a family that only celebrated the keynote holidays of the Jewish faith; having never been bar mitzvahed, having had no ancestory left in Europe by the time the holocaust took place, and living in a California suburb 5 towns away from the nearest synagogue, I never really connected much to my religious heritage. Though I did dutifully attend Sunday School until I was "confirmed" in the 10th grade. So, I wasn't without a bit of knowledge about the faith and the holocaust. 

 

When I was in elementary school, a "best friend" of mine who lived on my street came up to me one morning and told me that he had some bad news. He was really uncomfortable. It took him awhile to drum up the courage. And then he said, "We can't be friends anymore."

 

I had no idea where this came from. We were best buddies. Our friendship had never had had even the slightest friction. "How come?" I asked, completely baffled.

 

"My mom says we can't be friends because you're going to hell."

 

"What?" Though I'd heard of the horrors of hell, I hadn't yet discovered that hell pretty much is not a concept even mentioned in the Torah.

 

 I've only read the diary 1.5 times.  I did read it in school, probably middle school, or Junior High School as it was known in those days. 

 

In high school, I remember a couple of incidents that reminded me that anti-semitism was live and thriving in my own little neighborhood when I found myself chatting with a few not-very-close-friends during a break and one of the guys, who I didn't know too well but had never had reason to dislike, pulled out what looked like some kind of pre-xerox-like copy of a homemade newsletter specifically focused upon stirring up hatred for Jews. It was really pretty ugly stuff.

 

He had no reason to suspect that the small group of guys included anyone who wouldn't be interested in finding out the "truth" about "those Jew bast----." I was really in shock and in that moment of shock I chose NOT to do the right thing. I chose to quietly hide behind my Jewish anonymity. I didn't "look" Jewish. In fact, in that community with a large population of Mexican families, my dark hair and olive complexion I was more often assumed to be Mexican than a semite.

 

At the time I didn't regret having said nothing; a lack of action that I regret in hindsight. But, truly, I think the shock of the reality of that ratty antisemetic newsletter was so shocking that I was simply stunned into silence. That moment hit me very hard; incredibly harder than the Sunday School lectures about the terrible thing the Germans did to the Jewish people "way back then."

 

I visited the Annex in 1978 and was quite moved by the experience probably because I had read the book. It too made a much deeper impact on me than either the Sunday School lectures or the middle school reading of the diary. 

 

_________

As I continue to explore the introspection caused by having read this scooped article, I've decided to make certain that these thoughts are more like a confession than a professing of some well-considered opinions. They weren't well-considered at all. They just were just the experiences and my perceptions of those experiences as they were when I had not gone terribly deep about ANY opinions I held.

__________

 

This article did present an idea to which I have since given considerable thought. The holocaust IS an important historical event. Though it is a degree of distance removed from the direct relationship to its horrors with every new generation. That generational distance does make a difference in the difference that books like The Diary of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel's Night make in generations with fewer and fewer "real" or "direct" connections to those events. 

 

No kid should be considered educated even at a minimal level without being exposed to "Man's inhumanity to Man." But, to assume that kid's are lazy or too distracted by less "challenging" literature or by their digital toys, is a fairly simplistic version of the old "kids these days" condemnation.

 

The bridge to engaged relevance for today's youth, is much longer  span than it was for my generation or my parents generation. This is not to excuse a disinterest in an important element of the human condition. 

 

To be frustrated because they don't easily find relevance in experiences that were pivitol in our own lives, is understandable. They may be being moved by more contemporary encounters with experiences of Man's Inhumanity to Man; perhaps in the lyrics of music that they listen to that ironically may generate a parallel scoffing at on our part since if we only have a passing awareness of the most contemporary musical scene. Who knows?

 

Should we abandon the reading of literary texts with extreme cultural, historical, or generational distance from our students. Of course not. But the real challenge is can we sell the relevance? Of course it's relevant. But the real question is do the "see" the relevance. Because, if they don't see it, it isn't there "for them." As, it may not have been there for us when asked to appreciate the importance of relevant learning experience our teachers and parents "knew" was there, but we did not have the same "shorter bridge" to that relevance as they did.

 

If interested in how I'm using Google Lit Trips to attempt to shorten the distance to "seeing" the relevance of The Diary of Anne Frank, see the Literary Location Lit Trip about the annex itself. see: http://goo.gl/v9tyO 

 

it virtually flies to the very street where the annex is in Google Earth. There are only two popup windows, the first has the only known footage of Anne Frank. The second placemark changes the view to an overhead where the annex itself is visible. Then the second popup has an embedded image of the famous bookcase open with the secret annex showing. But, that image is really a link to a complete virtual walk through of the annex filled with images, audio, video and tons of background about the lives of the people who were there.

 

In a sense, it shortens the bridge to relevance by putting the reader right there in the very place where the tragic story happened.

 

 ~ http://www/GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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Mara Ofengender's curator insight, July 16, 2013 11:06 AM

A look into how the way people read Anne Frank's Diary has changed over time and why students need to continue to learn about the Holocaust and reading this amazing book. 

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Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

8 May 2014

 

The Google Lit Trips project is proud to  announce the publication of a Google Tour Builder version of  the Lit Trip for Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

 

We have also refreshed the original Google Earth version of The Diary of a Young Girl Lit Trip as well.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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Anne Frank's Diary Too Pornographic For 7th Grade, Claims Parent

Anne Frank's Diary Too Pornographic For 7th Grade, Claims Parent | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Since being published in the Netherlands in 1947, "The Diary of Anne Frank" has become a staple in American classrooms.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

It seems as though Anne Frank is making the news quite a bit recently.

 

From Justin Beiber's self-centered and shallow note left in the guest book at the Anne Frank Annex. 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/14/showbiz/bieber-anne-frank

 

To what I assumed was well-intentioned, but questionable and certainly insensitive assumption behind the Mormon Church baptizing Anne Frank posthumously.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/mormons-posthumous-baptism-anne-frank_n_1292102.html. ;

 

I don't know, but neither imposing one's"beleibes" or one's beleifs on another without consent just seems a bit audacious; well-intended or not.

 

However, does the same imposition by parents of their beliefs upon their children, or the children of others fall into a different area of concern?

 

It is the parents' duty to raise their kids as best as they can, and whether we as educators or neighbors or strangers may recognize that it may not be within our purview to impose contradictory influences. We've already recognized that parents have a right to approve or not approve the viewing of videos they do not want their children to see. We don't have to agree, however, I don't think it's right for any educator to believe they have the right to trump the parent's right to make such decisions.

 

We've also for the most part accepted the notion that providing alternative options for that child is a professional obligation. However, the touchy edge of this issue is whether or not a parent has the right to make such calls for the children of other parents.

 

There is a sort of Venn diagram between censorship and professional judgment. There were books I chose not to teach due to professional judgment. And, while teaching  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ALOUD, I chose to replace the "N-word" with "N-word." Yet we would also discuss the controversy over the use of the word both in the book and in contempory times. 

 

And by the way, I happen to think that Mark Twain's use of the original term was quite intentional. And, that the intention was to be abrasive to ethical ears. The book is awash with examples of the negative impact of what many people at the time believed was acceptable behavior. Huck was raised within that society where slavery was defended in churches.

 

And, the whole point of the story comes down to Huck's coming to realize that his default upbringing was faulty in many ways. Why else did Mark Twain have Huck decide, after spending time with Tom who had not had Huck's experiences, decide that he didn't want to go back to Tom's world?

 

So, back to the article. The references objected to dealt with Anne's wondering about the vagina and it's role in reproduction. The entire passages is as follows:

 

"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."

Read more: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/22056965/northvillle-mother-files-complaint-about-passages-in-the-diary-of-ann-frank#ixzz2Ry5am8tl


What would your call be? But, before you answer too quickly...


There's certainly no doubt that it wasn't the writer's intention to titillate. If anything, it was more in the nature of  simplly expressing a pubescent curiosity in the biological structure of the female genetaila. With this in mind I don't see the issue here of being whether the passage is pornographic. However, even if we excuse the loose use of the word "pornographic," there is still the issue of parents' rights to determine what they believe is the proper approach to sex education for their children. And, again this is not the purview of educational systems to feel they have a right to trump the parents' decision in this regard, whether we feel it is justifiable or not.


The two elements and perhaps a third, that I think might be of most concern here have to do with the grade level at which the protest is being made. The parent in this case is objecting to the passage which only appears in a "Definitive Edition" (unedited). This is apparently not the traditional edited edition that has been in standard practice for years. If this the case, the question becomes are all 7th graders ready for this level of "condoned" exposure to the description Anne gives? In my own recollections of my readiness for "sex ed" information when I was a 7th graders, I think my own response would have still been a bit on the "Yuck! That's disgusting" level and certainly not at all as being titillating. Heck, when I was in the 8th grade I could not get through my oral report on the plant Uranus! And, even when I was a sophomore I was really nervous about even listening to my biology teacher say the words "penis" and "vagina." 

 

Yet, I knew a lot of "dirty jokes" about everything sexual, most of which in retrospect were disrespectful and sexist along the lines of those blonde jokes only a bit more sexually focused.

 

I suppose also that girls in middle school are already quite aware of the biological changes they're going through and might be less "harmed" by the passage.

 

But boys really are a different animal at that age, many boys are still much more like "big little boys" than like "young men." Some might be less ready or incapable of sufficient maturity or more than ready and/or mature to read such passages.

 

I would not see the teacher's role in this case as having to "tolerate or take a stand against" censorship. I would see this as an issue regarding professional judgment. 

 

Like showing films in the gray area, if the professional judgment is that the "unedited" version of the book is justifiable, then I don't see an issue with parental permission slips being required, and alternative assignments being available. It would be inconvenient and perhaps even resented, but the question is not whether the parent is right or wrong, but whether the parent has the right to make certain decisions about what their child are exposed to.

 

So would the traditional edited version be a suitable compromise?

 

Does the unedited version provide a learning experience of such value that compromising on the traditional version is unacceptable?

 

I hesitate to mention the last concern that arises in my mind about this objection. Though there is no evidence in the story to suggest that the parent in this article is in any way an anti-semite, we live in times when racism, anti-semetism, anti-immigrationists, gun control advocates and anti-gun control advocates have taken to using "code" language to express their positions.


 I will just leave it at that. You either already know what I mean or you haven't been paying attention lately.


 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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