The Tale This Time

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  1. Share your thoughts and debate the big issues
  2. A Tale for the Time Being Reader’s Guide
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  4. A Tale of Time City - Wikipedia

That was far in the future for him. And far in the past for me, reading his letter in the attic. This book is large and full of heart. It asks the important questions. What does it really mean to be a human being?

Share your thoughts and debate the big issues

How do we understand the cruelty human beings are capable of inflicting on each other? How do we have the courage to keep planting trees, as Oliver does, when the forests are being devastated around us? What moves me most of all is the way Ozeki explores intimate human relationships, and how people manage to love each other in the midst of their suffering. The central relationships of the novel are nuanced, changing, heart-wrenching, and fiercely loving: between Nao and her father, between Nao and her greatgrandmother Jiko, between Jiko and her kamikaze pilot son, and between Ruth and Oliver.

Ozeki writes courageously about what is clearly her own nonfictional marriage. Perhaps some of the incidents are invented for the novel, but the nature of the relationship is real. Misunderstandings crop up between the understated Oliver and the emotional Ruth, and then are untangled and clarified by love, by loyalty. They live in a wild place beset by wild storms, and they make it a home together. The relationship at the very center of the book is that between Ruth and Nao, who reflect and love each other without ever meeting.

They help each other discover themselves as time beings, alive in time. They help each other—and me, too—wake up to the present moment. I used to sit in the back seat of our Volvo station wagon. Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle!

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As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available. But that darkness has been lost. Disney took the teeth out of the tales.

A Tale for the Time Being Reader’s Guide

A poignant subplot of A Tale for the Time Being is the story of Haruki 1, the unwillingly conscripted kamikaze pilot who is torn between loyalty to country and the dictates of his conscience. What do you see as the effects of this cultural memory? The effects of this cultural memory have been to keep Japan dedicated to maintaining a nonmilitary presence in the world and in international politics. Japan does not maintain an army, but rather a Self—Defense Force supported by U.

Unfortunately, this cultural memory seems to be fading, and nationalistic and right wing factions in the government are continually trying to rewrite history. Your thoughts? When I was growing up, World War II already seemed like a distant memory, ancient history, but I was born in , and the war had ended only eleven years earlier. Eleven years is nothing! No time at all. To put it in a more contemporary perspective, the World Trade Center attacks happened twelve years ago.

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In the aftermath of world war, and during my lifetime, the United States has fought in over thirty wars or significant military operations. We bombed Afghanistan and Sudan and fought in the Kosovo War. In we sent troops to Liberia, and most recently to Libya, again. Operation Power Pack. Operation Urgent Fury. Operation Blue Bat. Operation Prairie Fire. Operation El Dorado Canyon. Operation Earnest Will. Operation Prime Chance.

Operation Nimble Archer. Operation Praying Mantis. Operation Just Cause. Operation Desert Storm.

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Operation Provide Comfort. Operation Northern Watch.

Operation Southern Focus. Operation Desert Fox. Operation Restore Hope. Operation Deliberate Force. Operation Uphold Democracy. Operation Infinite Reach. Operation Noble Anvil.

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Operation Enduring Freedom. Operation Freedom Eagle. Operation Iraqi Freedom. Operation Odyssey Dawn.

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How many of these wars do I-does anyone-remember? How many more have we never heard about or will we forget? At least one reader of A Tale for the Time Being has said that the book is two novels in one — one of them sounding perfectly American and the other perfectly Japanese. Was this your intention? The story comes from the characters. You seem very interested in the intersections between two modes of thought that are often considered separate: the spiritual and the scientific. How, in your way of thinking, do the two overlap?

I believe that science, or scientific rationalism, is a belief system, just like any religion. Something that transcends and is somehow superior to religious belief, which it denigrates to superstition. Many spiritual writers and thinkers have been captivated by what quantum physics seem to suggest about the nature of reality. Nao intends to use her diary to tell the life story of her great grandmother Jiko, but she never gets around to it, at least in this volume. What do you imagine the untold parts of that story to be like, and do you expect ever to tell it? Agnotology refers to the study of culturally produced ignorance or doubt and to the manufacturing of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.

An example of this is the way the tobacco industry conspired to obfuscate the proven connection between tobacco use and incidence of cancer. So agnotology is concerned with censorship and suppression of knowledge through willful intention, neglect, or forgetfulness. It seems important to me to leave the gaps and holes, rather than trying to fill them in. Share: Share on Facebook. Add to Cart.

Just kidding. How did you respond to this opening and its unusual focus on the circumstances of the reader? How does Ozeki seem to view the relationship between a writer and her reader? What do they owe each other? Though we may feel for her in her struggles and suffering, Nao is no angel. She is extremely harsh toward her father, and, given the opportunity, she tyrannizes over her hapless schoolmate Daisuke. Does Ozeki sacrifice some of the sympathy that we might otherwise feel for Nao?

Japanese sections of the book alternate with Canadian ones, each revealing insular worlds, oceans apart, yet connected. Nao brightly confesses that she intends suicide, like her unemployed father unsuccessful and her kamikaze great-uncle successful. But first she will write the life of her beloved year-old great-grandmother, Jiko, a Zen Buddhist nun — and former feminist, novelist, anarchist. But how did these Japanese detritus wash ashore in Canada?

A Tale of Time City - Wikipedia

Tossed from a cruise ship? Tsunami debris? And what are the odds they would be found by Ruth, another Japanese-North American? Is Nao a diarist-doppelganger, meant to startle Ruth into wakefulness?