In the aftermath of this year’s Hiroshima Day, we offer a few excerpts from a wide-ranging interview with Elaine Scarry roaming the key themes of her book, Thermonuclear Monarchy, published (and largely ignored) five years ago.
Page images are from Shomei Tomatsu & Ken Domon’s Hiroshima-Nagasaki Document that first appeared in 1961.
Scarry’s ultimate prognosis?
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen this year, or whether it’s going to happen this century, but it’s almost inconceivable that nuclear war isn’t going to happen.”
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On this Hiroshima Day, we turn to Thomas Merton:
To quote another American poet, Carl Sandburg, from a poem that predates the birth of the original child:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.
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On this Hiroshima Day, we offer the following letter from the website of the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels, written by artists Iri & Toshi Maruki:
Below, we have created a montage of panels (two at a time) and texts from the Maruki’s stunning representation of atomic incineration, titled:
The Maruki panels are now on display at the American University museum, not far from where the decision to drop the bomb was made.
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FAUST IS DEAD
To commemorate the 68th anniversary for the bombing of Hiroshima, we have been slowly working our way through Günther Anders’ remarkable Reflections on the H Bomb, which can be read here in its entirety, courtesy of Harold Marcuse.
Anders begins his reflections with a passage titled The modern infinite. Faust is dead:
Further along, beneath the heading Our incapacity for fear marks the freezing point of human freedom, Anders identifies the nascent radical unfreedom of our own time, as we stumble along, well past the freezing point, deep into the numbness of the black ice:
AFGHAN CHILDREN KILLED BY OUR FREEZING POINT
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