An Echo of Heaven by Kenzaburō Ōe

By Kenzaburō Ōe

From Nobel Prize winner Oe comes the tale of Marie Kuraki, a jap lady with a grin like Betty Boop's, who has develop into a saint to a gaggle of Mexican farm staff. even though Marie is an unbeliever looking for religious peace, she embarks on a trip triggered by means of a sequence of private tragedies, together with the deaths of her husband and sons.

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The photo tabloid Focus hadn't appeared yet, but Marie, with her striking looks and fashionable clothes, along with her determination to fight for what she believed in, would undoubtedly have been an ideal target for it. Her job being at a women's university, if the tabloids had managed to have their fun with her I'm sure she would have been forced to resign. So I did what I could to see that things didn't develop in that direction, thus repaying her for the support she'd given me during the hunger strike.

The problem we'd started with was so bizarre that, along with the effect of the beer, it d rew us out, and we ended up telling each other some of our innermost thoughts. But it was Marie who talked most. First, about the American writer she was studying. With the caution and reserve that literary scholars often show toward writ­ ers, she had never actually mentioned the name of the author she specialized in, but when I asked her if the things she'd said that caused so much trouble with the Mothers' Union that day weren't based on her literary research, she took the initiative a nd began to talk.

Don't you think we somehow cling to, even depend on, the innocence in our kind of children ? "O'Connor says that when innocence is overemphasized, it tends to become its exact opposite. But of course we've all lost it, from the start. According to her, we return to innocence through the redemption of Christ, not all at once, but slowly, over a long period of time. When this long process is skipped over in real life, we too quickly, too easily, reach a state of mock innocence, and that's what she calls sentimentality.

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