Monday, November 9, 2015

the last book I ever read (Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi by Hayden Herrera, excerpt nine)

from Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi by Hayden Herrera:

The military finally authorized Noguchi’s release from Poston on November 2, 1942. A week later Noguchi wrote to Ailes: “It’s taken me three months to get this permit to go out, so now I have a furlough and you will be seeing me for a while at least . . . We will have a lot to talk about and I will tell you what I have gone through . . . it’s so indescribable, the life here, so removed from the reality of New York . . . I feel like Rip Van Winkle.”

The camp director issued Noguchi a thirty-day furlough on November 12. Noguchi never went back. That night he got in his station wagon and drove to Salt Lake City, where he stopped to see John Lafarge and Larry Tajiri, managing editor of Pacific Citizen, the official publication of the Japanese American Citizens League. He then moved on to Chicago and to Wisconsin to visit Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s summer home near Spring Green. He had invited Wright to visit Poston and Wright had written a letter recommending Noguchi’s release. “I went there to thank him. And his place was swarming with conscientious objectors. He read me excerpts from the books that he was writing. One of them was his esteem for this German philosopher called Heidegger, who was accused of bring friendly to the Nazis. But he didn’t care. Frank Lloyd Wright was a man who did not give a shit, because he felt that he was an American.”

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