Some time ago I was browsing through my bookshelf to find something to read on my way to the office. I picked a book that I borrowed from my parents years ago. It`s a title by Christa Wolf, a famous german writer; “Accident: A Day`s News”. The title didn`t ring a bell so I just grabbed it and put it in my bag.
When I started reading on the train I was immediately sucked into the flow of the narrator’s stream of thoughts. It`s a very deep and intense diary-like style of writing that confronts the reader with the author’s state of mind which is dominated by insecurity, fear and hope while she is waiting for a call from the hospital where her brother is undergoing brain surgery. The second accident that interrupts her daily routine on April 26, 1986 is the news of the massive nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.
The book reveals more than just the narrator’s state of mind during that single day. She questions the way we are treating our world and whether we are making the right decisions. The author is not only trying to get to the bottom of scientific progress and it`s consequences – the connection between killing and inventing, technology and humanity – but ends up with the leading question; whether the human race has a tendency to self-destruction.
“The long-sought link between the animal and the truly human person is us.” – Konrad Lorenz
It`s terrifying how relevant this book is. While reading it I received day by day similar news from the nuclear accident in Fukushima. It`s the same fear and the same questions; 25 years after Chernobyl, 66 years after Hiroshima.