In the novel “A Personal Matter”, by the Japanese writer Kenzaburō Ōe, the school teacher called Bird awaits the birth of his baby. His long-awaited son is then born with a brain hernia. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are disturbingly present. The father expects the imminent death of his son who will survive and live long as a “sick hope”. The bandages on his son’s head reminds him of Apollinaire when the latter was severely wounded in WWI. Bird does not fulfill his dream of traveling to Africa. In the end of the novel he’s given a dictionary as a present. He reads “Hope” in the dedication, and wishes it were “Patience”.
I’ll talk about the other side of hope: Patience.
Prophet Job is said to be born in Hauran, where the Syrian uprising started in 2011. Syrians have been punished since. Has this ongoing punishment led to absurdity or to God? How’s their blasphemy? Have they stopped their unanswered calls and prayers? Does the meaning lurk in the waiting?