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I’ve been reading the previously-mentioned Letters from the End of the World quite a bit (even more than Naked Lunch) over last night and today and I’m finding it to be quite… moving, for lack of a better term. I don’t know why some of the things Tofoyumi Ogura (the author) writes about in the letters/book move me so much, but they do. Sometimes they’re slightly gory, sometimes they’re disturbing, but they seem to affect me more than they should. For instance:

Looking closer, I saw that her left arm was torn away at the shoulder. The wound looked like a ripe fig split open…her eyes were closed and her face was pale and rigid. The water which the boy poured into her mouth would just spill over onto her throat and boson…it might have been her voice I’d heard before, plading for water. I watched the little boy go away once more, looking happy enough. I didn’t want to be there when he came back so I averted my gaze and started walking.

That part actually made me have to stop reading for a while. I almost felt… sad. But it’s a great book, and certainly something I think everyone should read, if only to see a different, non-moralizing, ground-level (I think that’s the right term, idk) and certainly very human view of the bombing of Hiroshima and the events and conditions that followed in the wake of that fateful explosion.

Events like that carry so much more weight when you have names and stories and actual human beings. Certainly much more than reading a faceless history textbook concerned with “facts” rather than the actual human experience.

Me, I’d definitely take the human experience and firsthand accounts over soulless figures, diagrams and “facts”.

I’ve been feeling particularly emotionally fragile lately. For some reason I’m letting some things affect me quite a bit and make me feel melancholic, thoughtful and even almost sad, sometimes. To the point of just shutting down and crying, sometimes. I wish I knew why I feel this way right now, but I don’t.

Also, I want to buy Hishamuddin Rais’ new book eventually.

Categories: the printed page, thoughts
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