We are moving to the southwest! This message brought in summer 1943 about two dozen American employees to take home. The move was arranged by the employer – the US government. The men were highly qualified and specialized scientists, their job ambitious of world historical importance and urgent: to develop a functioning nuclear bomb before hostile forces them to anticipate and could threaten the United States with it. With this weapon in the hands of the Americans Nazis and Japanese would bring them to their knees, stop the World War II, Stalin keep them in check and establish itself as the leading world power.
The price that the population in the territory of use would have to pay had the government and researchers to be clear: a hundred thousand times death, serious mutilation, suffering and destruction.
As this order zusetzte many of the parties that fighting them. had with themselves and fight their colleagues to find a way to between moral, religious, philosophical and humanistic principles, scientific ethics, personal responsibility, loyalty to their country and its strategic and political objectives, which have numerous writers and artists diverse and sophisticated, edited (compilations for example in the Wikipedia articles for “öffnet new Browser-Fenster”.
Now, a hitherto neglected aspect dedicated to her debut novel this difficult period of history, the young American writer TaraShea Nesbit. in ” The Wives of Los Alamos ” TaraShea Nesbit: “The Wives of Los Alamos”.
Where it should go, what to expect there, of which the first only a few young women have no idea.
They rise in Sante Fe, New Mexico, off the train, they will, weiterverfrachtet together with their infants and young children in buses until they reach middle of the desert their goal: “Site Y” at Los Alamos, marked on any map, no school, no hospital. Frantic army units stomp here a simple settlement from the ground – Quonset huts, identical olive wooden houses, barbed wire around the whole area, access only to authorized persons. The laboratories and workshops of the husbands are even further apart in a few miles away Tech Area . What are they working there, nobody knows. Questions will not be answered. For everyone who lives here, the highest level of secrecy applies.
The women have a variety of backgrounds. Some are recent immigrants, most of them have an academic degree. Several have doctorate at Yale or Harvard. For this, the characterological differences. Although friction, resentment and rivalry inevitable in the forced community, all in the same boat. Far away from their previous social environments and the civilization they are banished to a desolate uniform camp where they feel on the siding. While the men are constantly on duty, remains the women not much to do, supported by the Mexican maid to dedicate the children of the manageable budget and education to apply as secretaries or unsubscribe mail. A small elite research side by side with the men in the Tech Area . All must somehow with the extreme climatic conditions, scorching days and freezing nights, droughts and heavy rains, dust and mud, water and food rationing arrange.
By the time you discover that the surreal situation of a offers Art captivity on time and beautiful. The landscape is not just a barren desert, as feared, but terrific and varied. In the near and attract beautiful scenery with picturesque canyons, ancient cave dwellings, mountain meadows, mountain streams -. Enough targets for picnics and barbecues, for horse riding and skiing
To illustrate the peculiar condition of their protagonists municipality chooses the author an unusual narrative perspective. Instead of profiling one of the women as a representative voice or to report episodic basis once from this time from that point of view, it speaks consistently of “we” and means so that the entire collective, “We were more than just I we were we , […] although we wished uniqueness. ” In the community they are strong, can “organize the city council” and “armed with baby bottles and food cans” enforce demands for a larger shop.
What all women in the “we” they say in unison can is to be the heavy oppressive consciousness involved in a development of enormous significance and simultaneously excluded from next spatial isolation and loneliness. The initial ignorance is committed through systematic secrecy. The women prepare their husbands a home, they receive when they come with “confused expression” home, and listen when they talk shop in the “science gibberish” but can not participate, do not ask questions once. They contribute willy-nilly to the emergence of something at which describe the men only as “The Gadget” from which the women, however, do not even know “what it really was, this’ device ”.
the brutal truth comes closest to who stays up at night 16 July 1945 and observed the horizon. Equipped with ham sandwich bags and thermos flasks many of the men have set out together into the weekend as if it were the Scout Hike through the desert. But in the morning the earth trembles. In the distance, a huge mushroom deployed, “a giant jellyfish … purple.” On their return, the men are excited and exhausted. Skin burns and eye irritation indicate only gently, what a Hellfire they learned to fire, while their wives entertained the children and procured with reading circles, knitting courses, dance evenings change.
After the creature of their men three weeks later its purpose had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as, fulfilled its political purpose. The enemy was badly wounded, destroyed, demoralized and defeated, the Second World War ended. At least now, each of the women of Los Alamos had to deal with whether “The Gadget” a miracle or a nightmare was and what contribution they had done so.
Also at TaraShea Nesbits novel to face a number of questions. The most basic is: What relevance do the trivial everyday experiences of a well-off women’s community that defines itself only through the simple fact that their spouses exercise an epoch-making activity? For just as interesting as problematic research can express only conjecture. Besides what in the Tech Area happens, the focus in the novel activities and feelings act in the kitchens, living rooms and children even more so insignificant.
Nesbits attempt a functionally adequate to install new narrative perspective, initially causes some surprise. The permanent “we” seems rather forced and artificial ( “[Visitors] asked our men to their research … they walked together down the hall to the study of our man.”).
The main function of the narrative perspective the trivialization. It creates a collective distance to the work of the physicists and technicians in the laboratories. The local efforts to develop an outrageous death machine, take place beyond the stage of womanizing and stay behind hints hidden. Instead, we are served trivial, gossip, “Mrs. Oppenheimer had on Tuesday at breakfast a flag.” The women call their small, ever-growing city “Erläuterung to “Shangri-La” at Wikipedia (öffnet new Browser-Fenster)”
The restriction to a prospect with veiled vision prevents access to the real people and historical events. the men remain so dimly, as was her work for women. Famous leaders like Robert Oppenheimer, Niels Bohr and Enrico Fermi scurry as mere Numen over the sides. Important time events (fire bombs on Dresden, Mussolini executed , Hitler’s suicide) penetrate only as a radio news in the insular little world of women from Los Alamos.
in addition, I think the concept of collectivization fundamentally questionable. Even the author obviously can not help but notice the differences between the Women play out again and again, even if the individualization mostly on V ornamen and easy labeling limited ( “Virginia spoke about her love for Ireland. Mildred made sure that the whiskey was making the rounds. Evelyn, this time wearing the purple Tyrolean hat … “).
The telling is after years (1943 through 1945) and keywords (” trips “,” allegations “,” The director … structured “) grossly . in fact, there is a theme, Chronologie- and localities hopping from 1943 to 1968, Los Alamos and Vietnam, the development of the atomic bomb and the peace movement. a consistent action flow remains off. Annoying are the constant content repetitions with everyday routines, parenting, gossip on pan.