Dr. Atomic

| April 18, 2011

To someone who wakes up to the soothing solo arias of Il Clemenza di Tito and sinks into the poetic torpor of Götterdämmerung, Dr. Atomic is disquieting and comforting.

Rarely is a work so direct, penetrating, and philosophical that one is forced into the nexus of contradictions and questions his deepest belief.  The transformation of matter into energy, that of energy into matter, the disappearance of bodies into the atmosphere, and the brightest momentary burst in the sky stream violently yet seamlessly into the mind.

In seconds, creation was reversed – matter was reconverted into energy.  But even that is an overstatement.  “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”  Picasso unintentionally echoed Nietzsche’s interlude “the most sublime act of love may appear as malice.”

Too few men were entrusted the mantle of creation so vast and so ethically complex.  What a hoot on that momentous day to be self-contentious, that one decision, that one tremor, that one Julius Robert Oppenheimer.