The Hour of Sunlight

I like this book, because it is one of the few versions of a festering international sore which has only a handful of rather believable angels, whose demons are rather evenly divided, and most of whose characters have the air and manner of living people. And I like the telling of it, half-story, half-biography. If this were pure fiction, it would make one heck of a story, and we would all say it was a riveting read, voila tout.

But it isn’t pure fiction. It brings up a very real story, in a way that has something about it that makes us all cringe, in one way or another, which ever ‘side’ we are or are not on. This is something we’d rather not read. It makes us distinctly uneasy, for reasons either too nebulous for clear definition, or too clear to need definition. There is the trumpeting of elephants, voyons, partout…

And because this is ‘based on a true story’, we come to the inevitable question: Is this ‘really’ what happened? Can we trust this account? I don’t know; I wasn’t there. And if I had been I would probably be even less sure – they say the combatants see less of the war than anyone else.

It has the ring of sincerity, yes: somebody does seem to be trying to tell the truth. But isn’t all ‘truth’ necessarily subjective? Remember Itachi Uchiha? “”People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true. That’s how they define “reality”. But what does it mean to be “correct” or “true?” Merely vague concepts… their “reality” may all be a mirage. Can we consider them to simply be living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs?”

Depending on who and what you are, this book is a fantasy, a work of propaganda, a biography, a curiosity, a slice of history. To me it is a little of all those things. All I can see here is that this is part at least of how two fellow human beings saw this reality, and how they wanted to show it to us. And we should all of us look.

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