book gives voice to vietnams strangled anger over war
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today

Book gives voice to Vietnam's strangled anger over war

Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today

Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Book gives voice to Vietnam's strangled anger over war

Book gives voice to Vietnam's strangled anger over war
Paris - Al Maghrib Today

When Americans debate the Vietnam War, what the Vietnamese thought rarely gets a mention. Not any more.

"The Sympathizer," by Vietnamese-American academic Viet Thanh Nguyen, has ended that silence.

An excoriating tragi-comic novel, a bestseller in the US, it not only dismantles the Hollywood myth of the conflict but turns it inside out.

Told from the perspective of an American-educated Viet Cong double agent, its sweeping arc -- and bravura takedown of the legendary film "Apocalypse Now" -- won Nguyen the 2016 Pulitzer and a pile of other top prizes.

The judges of the Dublin Literary Award -- one of the few it didn't win -- described it as "the masterpiece on Vietnam that the world has been waiting for".

Nguyen, who escaped his homeland in his mother's arms after the fall of Saigon in 1975, is not the type to have his head turned by critics comparing his debut novel to such classics as "Catch 22" and "The Invisible Man".

"All Vietnamese people are apparently proud of me now even if they haven't read the book, or whether they agree with it. The Pulitzer trumps everything," he told AFP in Paris, where he is working on a new book.

"I'm happy that they're proud. I'm glad I can give them something, yet I find it a little bit sad that they feel their experiences are so little known that the validation of a literary prize matters so much."

- 'Humanising the Vietnamese' -
Having tried to "humanise" ordinary Vietnamese people in his acclaimed short stories, Nguyen chose to unleash their strangled anger towards the Americans, French colonialism and their own leaders in his novel.

Just to live, "I had turned my anger down to a pilot light", said Nguyen. "I turned it up for 'The Sympathizer', and that was unnerving for many Americans.

"We Asians are supposed to be the model minority. We are the nice people. We are not supposed to get upset.

"I have had some hate mail from veterans, which is OK. I'm trying to force everybody to reconsider everything they know about the Vietnam War."

But Nguyen, who grew up between a refugee camp and the shop his parents slaved to set up in California, is an equal opportunities satirist.

While he eviscerates a barely-disguised Francis Ford Coppola on the Philippine set of his iconic film, the Vietnamese do not emerge smelling of roses either.

"If I had only criticised the communists or the Americans I would have been fine," Nguyen said.

For his Vietnamese characters are not only human "they are also inhuman, capable of doing terrible things. Some terrible things happen in the book, as they did in Vietnam. Nothing I wrote about did not happen.

- 'Everybody did wrong' -
"Everybody did something wrong, everybody deserves to be offended."

Nguyen said he was "anxious" about how the Vietnamese translation would be received. "I wonder even how my own family will react to this depiction of Vietnamese complexity and contradictions," he said.

That it has taken this long for a Vietnamese writer to take on the war and its legacy is no surprise to him.

"Vietnamese people do anything to avoid conflict. There is a very big temptation not to talk about the war. The Communist Party control the narrative and if you try to get another perspective in there you are censored or exiled."

In America, Vietnamese writers are up against Hollywood, he said, "the unofficial propaganda of the United States. These movies cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Are you going to go up in front of that with your puny little novel?"

Americans also "like to think that they know something about Vietnam. But it is only ever their experiences we see," he insisted.

So Nguyen, a professor of English and ethnicity, decided to turn US attitudes on race to his advantage.

"As a minority you are expected to write about your 'minority experience'. So I decided to give them that, but done my way, a way neither Americans nor Vietnamese people have seen before."

His big challenge was to find a character who could cross the lines. And in coming up with an ambivalent Communist mole in the South Vietnamese army, the unwanted son of a French colonial Catholic priest and his maid, Nguyen found his man.

Smart, sarcastic, yet desperate to be accepted and to please, the spy agrees to become an advisor on the set of "Apocalypse Now".

"The Movie," the character observes at one point in the book, "was just a sequel to our war and a prequel to the next one that America was destined to wage.

"Killing the extras was either a re-enactment of what had happened to us natives or a dress rehearsal for the next such episode, with the Movie the local anaesthetic applied to the American mind."

Source: AFP

almaghribtoday
almaghribtoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

book gives voice to vietnams strangled anger over war book gives voice to vietnams strangled anger over war

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

book gives voice to vietnams strangled anger over war book gives voice to vietnams strangled anger over war

 



Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017

GMT 09:22 2018 Monday ,22 January

Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way

GMT 11:03 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 10:57 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Puigdemont candidate for Catalan president

GMT 13:56 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Puigdemont candidate for Catalan president
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Turkey detains dozens more

GMT 10:47 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

Turkey detains dozens more
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today The Rake announces editorial updates

GMT 10:46 2018 Tuesday ,16 January

The Rake announces editorial updates
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Europe brings on charm and blue skies

GMT 11:51 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Europe brings on charm and blue skies
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 10:46 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today US Christian tourists see deep meaning

GMT 13:44 2018 Monday ,22 January

US Christian tourists see deep meaning
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Amazon to open first cashierless shop

GMT 10:03 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Amazon to open first cashierless shop

GMT 18:55 2018 Sunday ,21 January

Egypt targets slew of government flotations

GMT 10:06 2018 Friday ,19 January

To develop oil fields retaken from Kurds

GMT 12:04 2012 Friday ,25 May

Bahrain GPIC in Petrotech 2012

GMT 13:01 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Iraqi media presenter says she was threatened

GMT 13:14 2018 Friday ,31 August

Qaradawi: Politics is more important than Hajj!

GMT 18:16 2018 Thursday ,30 August

Damascus vows to 'liberate all of Syria'

GMT 09:06 2012 Tuesday ,18 December

Tetouan international mediterranean film festival

GMT 05:09 2015 Friday ,20 March

Moroccan orange & cardamom cake

GMT 20:05 2017 Friday ,06 October

US says to end some trade sanctions on Sudan

GMT 22:34 2016 Wednesday ,13 April

No dead end art for graveyard Sydney Biennale

GMT 16:44 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Sweden urges China to release bookseller Gui Minhai

GMT 08:58 2018 Sunday ,21 January

Gardiner announces freelance details

GMT 10:12 2018 Friday ,19 January

Emirates announces $16 bn deal

GMT 09:19 2018 Tuesday ,16 January

US sanctions will check Iranian regime’s ambitions

GMT 12:16 2017 Sunday ,12 February

Ten steps to a healthier diet
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today
 
 Almaghrib Today Facebook,almaghrib today facebook  Almaghrib Today Twitter,almaghrib today twitter Almaghrib Today Rss,almaghrib today rss  Almaghrib Today Youtube,almaghrib today youtube  Almaghrib Today Youtube,almaghrib today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

.almaghribtoday .almaghribtoday .almaghribtoday .almaghribtoday
almaghribtoday almaghribtoday almaghribtoday
almaghribtoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
almaghribtoday, Almaghribtoday, Almaghribtoday