James Morrow is a novelist with a reputation for satirising organised religion, but his new book Shambling Towards Hiroshima mashes up the original Godzilla movies with the nuclear attacks on Japan which ended the Second World War.
Given the opportunity to ask the man some questions, the first thing that leapt to my mind was to enquire as to why Morrow had decided to write about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and why he’d choose to mix in monster movies as a subtheme – despite the potential risk of being accused of irreverence or outright frivolity, or of resurrecting dead issues. It is Futurismic‘s very great privilege to play post to his response.
How I Shambled Towards Hiroshima
by James Morrow
Saint Thomas Aquinas famously remarked, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” The same principle applies to classic American and Japanese monster movies. To one who loves this sort of cinema, no explanation is necessary. To one who does not, no explanation is possible.
As a school-age kid living in a sterile Philadelphia suburb in the late fifties, the culture of old horror films spoke to me in much the same way that God speaks to the theistically inclined. Thanks to my parents’ crummy little black-and-white television, plus my subscription to Forrest J Ackerman’s Famous Monsters of Filmland, I routinely enjoyed revelations from that wondrous and exotic celluloid realm. To see a chopped-up, truncated print of King Kong revived on late-afternoon TV was an authentically religious experience for me, and any broadcast of the 1956 Godzilla wasn’t far behind. Continue reading ESSAY: JAMES MORROW on why he wrote Shambling Towards Hiroshima