|THESE TWO LEAF PIX WERE TAKEN AT DUSK THURS. NIGHT IN WESTON, VT|
August 6th and 9th, 1945, were the dates when the United States dropped atomic bombs upon, respectively, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
To that end, this week's arts and culture column is on Japanese novelist, essayist, and Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Ōe.
Ōe and his wife chose to ignore the doctors who told them to abort their son. Hikari was born in 1963 with severe developmentally disabilities.
The Ōes went on to have two more children, and the most helpless, the least efficient, became the unlikely “star” around whom the family constellated. Kenzaburō Ōe went on to write novels, essays and memoirs around the central theme of his disabled son — this great fact, this “personal matter” — that has shaped his work, thought, and life.
Ōe has another abiding concern: the events of August, 1945.
“People say that I’ve been writing about the same things over and over again ever since — my son Hikari and Hiroshima…. I read a lot of literature, I think about a lot of things, but at the base of it all is Hikari and Hiroshima.”
READ THE PIECE HERE.
"All day people poured into Asano Park, This private estate was far enough away from the explosion so that its bamboos, pines, laurel, and maples were still alive, and the green place invited refugees—partly because they believed that if the Americans came back, they would bomb only the buildings; partly because the foliage seemed a center of coolness and life, and the estate’s exquisitely precise rock gardens, with their quiet pools and arching bridges, were very Japanese, normal, secure; and also partly (according to some who were there) because of an irresistible, atavistic urge to hide under leaves."
--John Hersey, Hiroshima