Arnon Grunberg



Today I finally managed to meet my sister and three of her seven children in Modi’in, halfway between her settlement and Tel Aviv.
On the way back in the taxi I was struck by a diarrhea attack. Being struck by such an attack in a taxi in a subtropical country might be called a catastrophe.
Well no, losing your leg is a catastrophe.
With an acquaintance of mine in Lebanon I had a small discussion about the question when something can be actually called a catastrophe.
Hiroshima was a catastrophe.
The war in Lebanon was a catastrophe.
The shooting on the Virginia Tech campus was a catastrophe.
The killing of a young Dutch soldier in Afghanistan was a catastrophe.
Are there any limitations to the meaning of the word catastrophe? Or are we entitled to compare anything to let’s say Hiroshima?