From Experience to Representation: Stories of Hiroshima BombingSummer Flower 1947Human Ashes 1966Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)"Little Boy" --the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. "Fat Man" --dropped on Nagasaki August 9, 1945.
OutlineIntroduction: From Experience to Representation to Reader ResponseHiroshima Literaturetwo generations; Oe vs. MishmaFirst responses Summer Flower (a widower for one year)"Human Ashes (a boy reaching puberty)Hiroshima mon amour a Japanese man and a French woman
Trauma Texts: From Experience to Representation Representation as Acting-out (re-enactment) or Working-through (understanding and contextualization)? The Work of Memory (like Dream) Mediation
Trauma Texts: From Experience to RepresentationRecollection Experience: turned to images, which then get accumulated in the folds of our minds, our eyes and urban landscape (//history as palimpses)
Trauma Texts: From Representation to Reader Response Reader Response as Acting-out ,Working-through or Mere Consumption? Mediation: fact selection & emplotment dramatization, visualization2. Self-Projection3. Contextualization
Trauma Texts: From Representation to Reader Response Historical Facts Personal Accounts Personal Record Usually less attractive than filmic dramatization or news spectacles image fragments on the news for consumption or genuine understanding
p. 18 A Female Negro Slave with a Weight Chained to her Ankle, from Narrative of a Five Years Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam 1772-77, 1796 John StedmanHow do we respond to spectacles? Image
A man stands on a roof as he awaits rescue in heavy flooding in Taimali, south-eastern Taiwan's Taitung county on August 8, 2009 during Typhoon Morakot. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #
Between the Trauma Spetacles & Ai-Hsin(Mustard Seed) Childrens HomeEquation? Purposeful actions in a local context http://www.mustard.org.tw/ah_home/news.asp
Hiroshima literature according to Kenzaburo Oe ()First generation: witness account or realistic descriptions of the victims; second- generation survivors: with a broader perspective, acknowledge clearly that Japan and the Japanese were partly to blame (as aggressors in the Pacific War, and also their invasion of China). (Introduction Crazy Iris)
Kenzaburo Oe () vs. Yukio Mishma () my limited knowledgeYukio Mishma: wrote Patriotism, formed the Tatenokai (Shield Society), a private army composed primarily of young students who studied martial principles and physical discipline, and swore to protect the Emperor-- staged a coup to perform the suicidal rite of seppuku. Kenzaburo Oe -- The Day He Himself Shall Wipe My Tears Away an ill father (with a growth resembling mushroom/chrysanthemum) who fantasizes about having a coup to kill the emperor and blame it on the Americans
First Reactions First Responses to the bombing in the two stories: It came all of a sudden p. 38; p. 68-69 lack of understanding, puzzled at not seeing holes 42; flame and gasoline from the sky -- helpless 45 losing contact with the surrounding, numbness (the boys terror 70, a groups numbness 73)Bewilderment p. 39 someone rushed inSenseless actions
First Reactions Common signs Burned bodies, houses, twisted trees (40) First reactions: Disgust at injuries (infected body 41; two injured women 45; nausea at seeing Mr. Nakayama 71 ; Wandering or escaping to the riverFirst actions: leaving the city some helpful, some unable to help (the shelters by a dispensary 49; the boys being dragged out of the line 83) Main concerns Search for ones family members or the teachers wife
Hara Tamiki (1905-1951)An English major; familiar with Russian lit, wrote poems himself, too. Summer Flower in 1947The Land of Heart's Desire in 1951. -- A suicide note in the form of an account of troubled dreams recalling memories of the Hiroshima bombing.-- The author committed suicide in 1951, when there were rumors about the use of A-Bomb in the Korean war.
His works (in Japanese): http://www.aozora.gr.jp/index_pages/person293.html
Summer Flower (1947) & Human Ashes (1969) What are their main themes? What are the details that stick in your mind? Do you see any artistic transformation of the events? Compared with Summer Flower, does the narrator in Human Ashes show greater distance from, or better understanding of, the event? Why does Human Ashes take a diary form? Do you see other literary techniques here?
Summer Flower (1947)A straightforward account of scenes witnessed by the author after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The story begins with the narrator visiting the graves of his wife (with incense and flowers) and parents three days earlier, and concludes with a friend searching for his wife's remains mingled with the bones of her pupils in the ruins of the girls' school where she taught. The narrator with suicidal thought What had been threatening me, what had been destined to happen, had taken place at last. I could consider myself as one who survived. I have to keep a record of this (41).
Summer Flower: Verbal Construction of non-verbal memoriesCentral Pattern Plot: wandering and searching (to satisfy basic needs), amidst the injured, broken pieces and corpses. picked up by the eldest brother (50) Irony: the wifes grave, flower and incense as the only sign of beauty and grace; memory of childhood a peaceful scene p47 Images the tree 40; the ruins of his house = The Fall of the House of Usher; sounds: voices(46-47) Images Fumihiko 51; corpses 51 (haunting rhythm) Ns experience 53-54
Summer Flower: Verbal Construction of non-verbal memories (2)Central Pattern: Irony: Images: the sight of the living green, true miseries began after the escape (52) Poem open ending
Katsuzo Oda Human Ashes (1969) a boys experience of displacement and his adolescent desires: Two dreams: kamikaze vs. physical desires lonely 64-65 Contrasts: avoiding his aunt (listless, displaced), 63-64 looking for the aunt 79Respect for soldiers/authorities (teachers upperclassman) and even kamikaze () the role of the military 64; a soldier in uniform kicking a student 65-66 Ichikawa and the other one 67-; Dragonfly 69; the lieutenant Yamane 71; the student 73; Ichikawa? P. 72; a rowdy student 73The teacher 70-71 the teachers wife 82
Katsuzo Oda Human Ashes (1969) Contrasts: Destruction of human bodies feeling his own body 73 naked women no longer sensible or attractive (74) vs. survival of nature (84)
Human Ashes (1969) Other Ironies: People losing their mind (72; 74)People unable to help each other p. 74; violent when it gets to getting food (crackers) Order and calm only apparent p. 76 nightmare of childhood 84 Ash-Covered bodies with oil and sweat, streams of blood (76) Human ashes (burial ritual) 84
Hiroshima mon amour (1959)What is the film about? -- The atomic destruction of Hiroshima and the psychological consequences of World War II? Director Alain Resnais ScriptMarguerite Duras Actors Emmanuelle Riva Eiji Okada
General Introduction: Background 1959 the beginning of French New Wave; also the year when Godard's Breathless, Truffaut's The 400 Blows were released. Resnais By 1959 Resnais had produced a lot of documentaries; e.g. 1955 Night and Fog, which Godard has called a documentary on the memory of Auschwitz.After seeing the documentaries already produced on Hiroshima, Resnais changed his mind, asking Duras to write the script for him.
General Introduction: Impossibility of Historic representation Reenacting the pain and horror of such events cannot be portrayed in a documentary manner; such representation is possible only if it is mediated through human experiences of love and death. Plot -- the sexual tryst between the French actress, who is married, and her Japanese lover, an architect who is also married,
General Introduction: Structure and Plot But the story goes deeper as they dig up her past, and they have a mutual recognition. five panels (not labeled, as such in the film itself): Prologue, Night and Morning, Day, The Caf by the River, and Epilogue.
General Introduction: Structure and Plot (2) five panels (not labeled, as such in the film itself): Prologue, Night and Morning, Day, The Caf by the River, and Epilogue.
Starting Questions What does the beginning shots of the film mean? And the opening sequence? "You saw nothing in Hiroshima. Nothing," "I saw everything.... Every thing." What does she see?
Remembering and Seeing Bodily memory, or enactment of ones memory. (bodies in sex = bodies covered by atomic ashes) Opposed to the visualization of memories hospital, museum (with photos and artifacts), peace square, newsreel, and a film about "peace. The reconstructions were as authentic as possible. The films were as authentic as possible. what else can a tourist do but weep?I saw them. I saw the newsreelLike you, I Know what it is to forget. Like you, I forgot.
What she sees:Hospital with patients averting their faces, documentaries, Hiroshima park and museum
Hiroshima at the present time:The film and the parade:
Lui (Him) and Elle (Her) Both traumatized; I was never younger than I was in Nevers. Why Nevers? I somehow understand that it was there that I almost lost you and ran the risk of never. ever meeting you. somehow understand that it was that you began to be who you are today. enactment of the past with him.
Her traumatic moment = liberation of Nevers Fragmentation narration driving at the central event: He was my first love I couldn't find the slightest between his dead body and my own.
Example: from enactment to working thruShe: I think of you but I no longer speak of itHe: Madwoman! She: Madly in love with you. My hair grows back. He: Are you ashamed for them, my love? She: You are dead. I'm too busy suffering. Night falls. I hear nothing but the sound of the scissors on my head. It eases the pain of your death a bit. Like _ I don't know how else to say Like for my nails... the walls... my anger. What a painHe: And then one day. my love. your eternity comes to an end. A long time. They said it was a long time. One day I hear them[the cathedral bells ].
Example: from enactment to working thruMy life that goes on,your death that goes on.Its horrible! I remember you less and less clearly.(remembers the death again) screams feel the warmth of a marble
Forgetting the past
Torn between the Past, the Present and future forgetfulness
Saying Goodbye to both the Past or the present? Walking thru Hiroshima, with flashbacks of Nevers.Elle: I consigned you to oblivion. Lui: Were sad about leaving each other
Self-Othering Casablanca (Hollywood film) // the woman as a desirable object increase the inevitable distance between him and her
The ending: What does it mean to call each other by the name of their cities?
ReferencesSummer Flower (in Japanese) http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/000293/files/1821_6672.html The Crazy iris and other stories of the atomic aftermath Google Books