Sans soleil

He feels these infirmities of time like an injustice,
and he reacts to that injustice like Ché Guevara,
like the youth of the sixties, with indignation.

He is a Third Worlder of time.
The idea that unhappiness had existed in his planet's past
is as unbearable to him

as to them the existence of poverty in their present.
Naturally he'll fail.
The unhappiness he discovers is as inaccessible to him
as the poverty of a poor country is unimaginable to the children of a rich one.

He has chosen to give up his privileges,
but he can do nothing about the privilege that has allowed him to choose.

His only recourse is precisely that which threw him into this absurd quest:
a song cycle by Mussorgsky.

They are still sung in the fortieth century.
Their meaning has been lost,
but it was then that for the first time,

he perceived the presence of that thing he didn't understand
which had something to do with unhappiness and memory,

and towards which slowly, heavily,
he began to walk.

Of course I'll never make that film.
Nonetheless I'm collecting the sets, inventing the twists,
putting in my favorite creatures.

I've even given it a title,
indeed the title of those Mussorgsky songs: Sunless.

On May 15, 1945, at seven o'clock in the morning,
the three hundred and eighty second US infantry regiment
attacked a hill in Okinawa they had renamed 'Dick Hill.'

I suppose the Americans themselves believed
that they were conquering Japanese soil,

and that they knew nothing about the Ryukyu civilization.