Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Those sick people ... from their outward appearance, they didn't seem to be in pain. Only they couldn't move, and even as we watched them they seemed to become faint ... But their minds were quite clear ... not like people who had severe burns or shock or other injuries. There was one man who asked me for help and everything he said was clear and normal ... He even told me how somebody robbed him of his wristwatch ... but in another three hours or so when I looked at him he was already dead."
--an anonymous electrician, interviewed in Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima (Robert Jay Clifton, 1968)

"Why are there misfortunes in life? They are usually the retributions for one's own sins, but this was not so with me!"
--Six Record of a Floating Life (Shen Fu, 1809; translated by Leonard Pratt & Chiang Su-Hui)

"The horror of life mixed itself already in earliest youth with the heavenly sweetness of life..."
--Suspiria de Profundis (Thomas de Quincey, 1845)

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