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e-Book Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions) download

e-Book Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions) download

by John Balaban,Nguyen Qui Duc

ISBN: 1883513022
ISBN13: 978-1883513023
Language: English
Publisher: Whereabouts Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 1996)
Pages: 256
Category: Writing Research and Publishing Guides
Subategory: Reference

ePub size: 1820 kb
Fb2 size: 1590 kb
DJVU size: 1661 kb
Rating: 4.1
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This item:Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions) by John Balaban Paperback .

A very brief introduction by the compilers mentioned that although literary expression in Vietnam dates back 2,000 years, mainly involving oral and written poetry, the Western-style novel was introduced only in the early 20th century and Western-style short stories date to the late 1800s. Together with diverse literary influences from China, French romanticism and naturalism and the later Soviet socialist realism, they mentioned the continued hold of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism on the culture.

Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion. Balaban and Nguyen Qui Duc refer to Mr. Nguyen Huy Thiep as "Vietnam's preeminent literary craftsman. Traveler's Literary Companion). Nguyễn Huy Thiệp (Contributor). The authors of the tales in Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion include writers whose names are familiar to many literate westerners, such as Mr. Bao Ninh (The Sorrow of War) and Ms. Duong Thu Huong (Paradise of the Blind), as well as writers whom most occidental readers will have never encountered before.

Home Non Fiction Vietnam a Traveler s Literary Companion. Since relations between the . and Vietnam have normalized, many more people are traveling to this exotic country, previously closed to a generation of Western visitors. Vietnam a Traveler s Literary Companion. Category: Travelogues. Vietnamprovides one of the first chances for Americans to know the Vietnamese outside the context of war. Vietnamese have been telling stories for thousands of years, in poetry and in song, in Chinese script and then in Vietnamese nôm, and more recently, in novels and short stories.

Vietnam: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. Vietnam provides one of the first chances for Americans to know the Vietnamese outside the context of war. Vietnamese have been telling stories for thousands of years, in poetry and in song, in Chinese script and then in Vietnamese nom, and more recently, in novels and short stories.

Work-to-work relationships. Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion. Original publication date.

Vietnam : a traveler's literary companion. San Francisco : Whereabouts Press. x, 239 pages : map ; 19 cm. Series Title. John Balaban; Nguyn Qui Duc. Walmart 569641778. This button opens a dialog that displays additional images for this product with the option to zoom in or out. Tell us if something is incorrect. Vietnam : A Traveler's Literary Companion.

John B. Balaban (born December 2, 1943) is an American poet and translator, and an authority on Vietnamese literature. Vietnam: A traveler's literary companion (with Qui Duc Nguyen). San Francisco: Whereabouts Press, 1996. Spring Essence, The poetry of Ho Xuan Huong. Balaban was born in a housing project neighborhood in Philadelphia to Romanian immigrant parents, Phillip and Alice Georgies Balaban.

Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion, with Nguyen Qui Duc, (Whereabouts Press, 1996). Spring Essence, The Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong, (Copper Canyon Press, 2000).

Since relations between the U.S. and Vietnam have normalized, many more people are traveling to this exotic country, previously closed to a generation of Western visitors. Vietnam provides one of the first chances for Americans to know the Vietnamese outside the context of war. Vietnamese have been telling stories for thousands of years, in poetry and in song, in Chinese script and then in Vietnamese nôm, and more recently, in novels and short stories. These 17 stories, from contemporary Vietnamese writers living in Vietnam and abroad, take the literary traveler to extraordinary places: from the jungle-clad mountain ranges of the North to the mysterious silence of the old capital along the Perfume River. Proximity of the spirit world, love of family, exhaustion from war, one's Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist obligations, social protest, and the hunger for a better life — these are some of the concerns to be encountered in these thrilling landscapes. Contributors include Nguyen Huy Thiep, Linh Bao, Nguyen Ba Trac, Thich Duc Thien, Ho Anh Thai, Le Minh Khue, Doan Quoc Sy, Vu Bao, Duong Thu Huong, Andrew Q. Lam, Nguyen Qui Duc, Qui The, Bao Ninh, and Pham Thi Hoai.
Comments:
Prince Persie
This book was published in 1996 and contained 14 writers, who contributed 16 short stories and one excerpt from a novel. Eight authors were from the north, including one who was living abroad, and six were from the south, all but one of whom had emigrated to the United States. Two contributors, the Vietnamese-Americans Nguyen Qui Duc and Andrew Lam, wrote originally in English, the others were translated from Vietnamese.

The oldest writers were Doan Quoc Sy (1923-), a northerner who fled to the south in 1954, was imprisoned from 1976-91 and permitted to leave for the United States in 1995; Linh Bao (1926-), a southerner who emigrated to the United States; and Vu Bao (1931-), who fought for the north against the French and then the Americans. Most of the other writers were born between 1945 and 1960. These included the popular Duong Thu Huong and Bao Ninh, as well as Nguyen Huy Thiep. Nguyen has been called particularly influential for his choice of subject matter and use of language, and four works by him were included. Of all the authors, four were women.

With a few exceptions, the anthology sought to avoid stories that touched directly on war, and focused instead on other concerns -- among them, the relations between people as they struggled to get along in postwar Vietnam or reconcile with loss and memories of the past; the remembrance of family; and relationships. Many of the stories were set among peasants in the countryside or the urbanites of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and also included a Vietnamese-American returnee as well as an émigré in Southern California. Most of the works were written in the 1990s. The earliest story was Doan's, dating from the 1970s, a parable-like piece involving a soldier in the jungle and a fish stranded in a stream. The compilers said it referred to a century-old folk poem.

A very brief introduction by the compilers mentioned that although literary expression in Vietnam dates back 2,000 years, mainly involving oral and written poetry, the Western-style novel was introduced only in the early 20th century and Western-style short stories date to the late 1800s. Together with diverse literary influences from China, French romanticism and naturalism and the later Soviet socialist realism, they mentioned the continued hold of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism on the culture.

For me, the most interesting works in the collection were a story by Nguyen Huy Thiep in which a man went hunting in the jungle, encountered wild monkeys and had a series of quixotic adventures. Maybe he gained an awareness of the worth of nonhuman life, maybe he remained a fool. Although the piece was interesting just for its surface description, I couldn't help feeling I was missing things on a symbolic level. The events seemed to be leading up to some revelation that never quite came.

Another of his stories, "Fired Gold," involved figures from Vietnamese history of 200 years ago and offered three conclusions, so that each reader could choose the one "most suitable." This story's been called important, among other things, for using history to comment obliquely on present political circumstances, while putting many of the comments in the mouth of a foreign character who may be considered untrustworthy or even insane: "Decrepit Confucian practices and political masturbation will never result in pure or wholesome relations. A time will come when the worldwide polity will seem like an exotic mixed salad, and the very concept of moral purity will possess no significance."

The literary style was mixed, describing events of long ago in rhetorical phrases typically found in bureaucratic jargon or Communist Party speeches: "The beauty and glory of a people are based on neither revolution nor war, on neither ideologists nor emperors. In grasping this, people can live more simply, reach their full potential, and be in greater accordance with nature." It was the most formally experimental piece by far in the collection and the most difficult to interpret.

Another story of his put passengers from different walks of life -- a Buddhist monk, a poet, a teacher, two merchants, a mother and child, two lovers, a robber -- on a ferry crossing a river. Various small dramas occurred to illustrate how each approached life. The teacher recited the words of an 18th century national poet:

"Heels muddied in the pursuit of wealth and fame,
Weather-beaten faces revealing life's cataclysms,
Thoughts of helping the world bring pain.
Bubbles in the ocean of misery, duckweed at the dark shore's edge,
The taste of the world's troubles numbs the tongue, fills the body with misery,
The journey through this world is bruising, full of obstacles.
Waves in the mouth of the river rise and fall.
The boat of illusion pitches and rolls at the edge of the waterfall."

At the end, the boat reached shore, discharging the passengers, while the monk remained on board, whispering a line from a sutra on "crossing to the other side": "Going. Going. Thoroughly gone. Awakened!"

Another, by Ho Anh Thai, introduced a narrator who saw his boss transformed into a goat, while one of the other characters in the story claimed that all she saw around her was a society of such beasts driving bicycles, motorcycles and cars.

The longest story, by Le Minh Khue, was also one of the more complex, told by a narrator who linked a retired party member of high rank with several tragedies in his past; a young couple in love, whose fate was tied to the party member through incredible coincidence; and a man who'd murdered his father.

The piece by one of the compilers, Nguyen Qui Duc, described a brief near-romance between a Vietnamese-American returnee and a woman marrying a foreigner she didn't love in order to get out of the country. It combined a focus on the sadness of feelings that had to be denied for the sake of obligation -- something that felt characteristically Vietnamese -- with phrases that could've come from an American yuppie ("She had feet to die for." "I lost it.")

I finished this varied collection thinking how many of the stories were concerned with memory, sacrifice, sorrow and loss -- sometimes powerfully, sometimes melodramatically -- and with melancholy resignation, very occasionally with a sly sense of humor. And how others were too cryptic and unfamiliar to clearly understand.

Other English-language anthologies for Vietnam include Vietnamese Short Stories: An Introduction (1986), The Other Side of Heaven: Postwar Fiction from Vietnamese and American Writers (1995), Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996, revised edition 2006), and Love after War: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (2003). An anthology for Southeast Asia that contains four good stories by Vietnamese writers is Virtual Lotus: Modern Fiction of Southeast Asia (2002).

Gavikelv
I bought this book as a travel companion on my trip to Vietnam. The book is very appropriate for that purpose, but as a literary collection, the stories are of varying quality. My guess is that a lot gets lost in translation. I wish there were more footnotes or some sidebar to give context to some cultural issues that I'm not aware of or to just give me basic info about the other singers, poets, authors, etc. mentioned in the stories. Additionally, some of the stories felt like they had interesting themes but were poorly written, and I wonder if the translations have something to do with that. Overall though, I think it's great book to read before or during a trip to Vietnam.

Qusicam
The book contains a series of fictional short stories which are original and creatively written. I thought the imagery of Vietnam to be stimulating. As a resident of Hanoi and two year traveler through North Vietnam I found themes to be interesting from a historical perspective as well as culturally to know and understand what the writers considered important in their day to day lives. All of the writers were Vietnamese. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but most of all to readers who have an interest in Asian studies generally or Vietnam in particular. I haven't often read fictional short stories, but it reading this book I am a convert to read more, particularly about Southeast Asia.

Manesenci
I've been reading many books in preparation for a three week trip to Vietnam in May. I've intentionaly stayed away from books about the war in favor of snapshots of everyday life. Vietnam:A Treveler's Literary Compananion, provides a very initimate look into the everyday lives of Vietnamese from all strata of society. The collection of stories provides insights into how the Vietnamese view their lives, country and relationships. This is a perfect compliment to travel guides.

Friert
Interesting!

adventure time
Book is in excellent condition and arrived quickly. Sadly, I didn't get to go to Vietnam to teach as planned so I guess I erally should resell it.

Jorius
But on the whole, it gave me a good look into the people of Vietnam and what they are like. I didn't expect a "kinder, more gentler country" for my trip but based on theses stories, that is indeed what I will find when I get there.

This was a perfect book to bring along , while traveling in Vietnam. The stories was from different times and very varied.It was a great introduction to this wonderful country.

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