پنجشنبه یازدهم نوامبر 1943کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 37
پنجشنبه یازدهم نوامبر 1943
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1943
I have a good title for this chapter: Ode to My Fountain Pen
My fountain pen was always one of my most prized possessions; I valued it highly, especially because it had a thick nib, and I can only write neatly with thick nibs. It has led a long and interesting fountain-pen life, which I will summarize below.
When I was nine, my fountain pen (packed in cotton) arrived as a “sample of no commercial value” all the way from Aachen, where my grandmother (the kindly donor) used to live. I lay in bed with the flu, while the February winds howled around the apartment house. This splendid fountain pen came in a red leather case, and I showed it to my girlfriends the first chance I got. Me, Anne Frank, the proud owner of a fountain pen.
When I was ten, I was allowed to take the pen to school, and to my surprise, the teacher even let me write with it. When I was eleven, however, my treasure had to be tucked away again, because my sixth-grade teacher allowed us to use only school pens and inkpots. When I was twelve, I started at the Jewish Lyceum and my fountain pen was given a new case in honor of the occasion. Not only did it have room for a pencil, it also had a zipper, which was much more impressive. When I was thirteen, the fountain pen went with me to the Annex, and together we’ve raced through countless diaries and compositions. I’d turned fourteen and my fountain pen was enjoying the last year of its life with me when . . .
It was just after five on Friday afternoon. I came out of my room and was about to sit down at the table to write when I was roughly pushed to one side to make room for Margot and Father, who wanted to practice their Latin. The fountain pen remained unused on the table, while its owner, sighing, was forced to make do with a very tiny corner of the table, where she began rubbing beans. That’s how we remove mold from the beans and restore them to their original state. At a quarter to six I swept the floor, dumped the dirt into a news paper, along with the rotten beans, and tossed it into the stove. A giant flame shot up, and I thought it was wonderful that the stove, which had been gasping its last breath, had made such a miraculous recovery.
All was quiet again. The Latin students had left, and I sat down at the table to pick up where I’d left off. But no matter where I looked, my fountain pen was nowhere in sight. I took another look. Margot looked, Mother looked, Father looked, Dussel looked. But it had vanished.
“Maybe it fell in the stove, along with the beans!” Margot suggested. “No, it couldn’t have!” I replied.
But that evening, when my fountain pen still hadn’t turned up, we all assumed it had been burned, especially because celluloid is highly inflammable. Our darkest fears were confirmed the next day when Father went to empty the stove and discovered the clip, used to fasten it to a pocket, among the ashes. Not a trace of the gold nib was left. “It must have melted into stone,” Father conjectured.
I’m left with one consolation, small though it may be: my fountain pen was cremated, just as I would like to be someday!
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1943
Recent events have the house rocking on its foundations. Owing to an outbreak of diphtheria at Bep’s, she won’t be allowed to come in contact with us for six weeks. Without her, the cooking and shopping will be very difficult, not to mention how much we’ll miss her company. Mr. Kleiman is still in bed and has eaten nothing but gruel for three weeks. Mr. Kugler is up to his neck in work. Margot sends her Latin lessons to a teacher, who corrects and then returns them. She’s registered under Bep’s name. The teacher’s very nice, and witty too. I bet he’s glad to have such a smart student.
Dussel is in a turmoil and we don’t know why. It all began with Dussel’s saying nothing when he was upstairs; he didn’t exchange so much as a word with either Mr. or Mrs. van Daan. We all noticed it. This went on for a few days, and then Mother took the opportunity to warn him about Mrs. van D., who could make life miserable for him. Dussel said Mr. van Daan had started the silent treatment and he had no intention of breaking it. I should explain that yesterday was November 16, the first anniversary of his living in the Annex. Mother received a plant in honor of the occasion, but Mrs. van Daan, who had alluded to the date for weeks and made no bones about the fact that she thought Dussel should treat us to dinner, received nothing. Instead of making use of the opportunity to thank us-for the first time-for unselfishly taking him in, he didn’t utter a word. And on the morning of the sixteenth, when I asked him whether I should offer him my congratulations or my condolences, he replied that either one would do. Mother, having cast herself in the role of peacemaker, made no headway whatsoever, and the situation finally ended in a draw.
I can say without exaggeration that Dussel has definitely got a screw loose. We often laugh to ourselves because he has no memory, no fixed opinions and no common sense. He’s amused us more than once by trying to pass on the news he’s just heard, since the message invariably gets garbled in transmission. Furthermore, he answers every reproach or accusation with a load of fine 1\ promises, which he never manages to keep.
“Der Mann hat einen grossen Geist
Una ist so klein van Taten!”*
[*A well-known expression:
“The spirit of the man is great,
How puny are his deeds.”
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