Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nine literary works on earthquakes

David L. Ulin is the author of The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith.

Earlier this year he came up with a list of "ways of looking at earthquakes through literature." One title to make his list:
After the Quake by Haruki Murakami.

This 2000 collection of stories was written in reaction to the Kobe earthquake, which killed more than 6,000 people on Jan. 17, 1995. Although in many of the pieces here the disaster plays only a peripheral part, it reverberates throughout the book like an aftershock. "Five straight days she spent in front of the television," Murakami writes in "UFO in Kushiro," "staring at crumbled banks and hospitals, whole blocks of stores in flames, severed rail lines and expressways. She never said a word. Sunk deep in the cushions of the sofa, her mouth clamped shut, she wouldn’t answer when Komura spoke to her. She wouldn’t shake her head or nod. Komuracould not be sure the sound of his voice was even getting through to her."
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue