September 2, 2005

The Amsterdam Notebooks—Page 33.

It's Day 33 of this 35 day project. (The set thus far.)

I visit the Anne Frank House. The sign says no photography. I ask if it's okay to draw, and the woman selling the tickets doesn't quite understand what I'm saying. I realize that if they don't want people taking photographs, they would probably object even more to someone taking the time to stand there making a drawing. I say never mind. If someone tells me not to draw, I'll stop, I decide, but I'm not going to seek out a ban. There isn't a no drawing sign. I feel guilty and clandestine the whole time I'm there.

But, in fact, it's early in the morning, and it isn't crowded at all. I have a long time alone in Anne Frank's bedroom. I make this drawing of the pictures on her wall. She's a kid interested in pop culture — movies — Greta Garbo. "Ninotchka" is a new movie that she's excited about.

Amsterdam Notebook

(Enlarge.)

I feel I'm doing something wrong, drawing these things, absorbed in one girl's interest in the pop culture of long ago— ephemera, preserved under plexiglas.

I find myself noticing everything that is incongruent with the suffering of the Holocaust: the ornate toilet, the Shelley Winters Oscar, the misconceived book covers. I collect a variety of things on one page:

Amsterdam Notebook

(Enlarge.)

3 comments:

Paul said...

It's ben curious to me, all of my life, how a few people come to represent faceless many, as she certainly represnts so many young people. Intended or not, she's all they've have.
How the heck did book publishers turn her into a sophisticated blond or are we all wrong? It's funny, she thought Ray Milland was a hunk, it seems. I never liked him but he was an excellent bad guy.
I'm still curious how you chose to go there alone for a month. Brave.

Ann Althouse said...

Paul: I didn't go there for a month, only about ten days. I just have 35 notebook pages to show, and decided to show one a day. They aren't actually in chronological order, either.

Paul said...

Thanks Ann.
I continue my history of inept comments. Consider it, not comic relief but astonished relief as in, what is wrong with this guy?
No matter, the site's too enjoyable for me to go away. My misspellings apparently, will continue with those comments.
Still brave, I don't retract that.