Ru và Mãn – Kim Thúy

Mar 23, 2015 (TM)

Hoàng Trọng giới thiệu:

“Ru” trong tiếng Pháp xưa có nghĩa là một dòng suối, một dòng rất nhỏ. “Ru” trong tiếng Việt là một bài hát ru, và đó là một từ đẹp như một lời thơ nhưng được sử dụng thường ngày, Kim Thúy giải thích tựa sách của mình.

Ru là một tự truyện, trong đó ký ức lê bước trở về để kể câu chuyện một cô bé 10 tuổi, sinh ra ở Sài Gòn Tết Mậu Thân năm 1968 và sau năm 1975 vượt biển như một boat people để cuối cùng định cư ở Montréal, Canada.

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Tống Mai:
Cuốn “Mãn” của Kim Thúy sau cuốn “Ru” không để lại cảm tưởng sâu đậm bằng “Ru”, cùng lối viết, từng đoản bút nhỏ về những hình ảnh và ý niệm: xích lô, trắng, cao su,mẹ, tóc, thơ, hoa phượng, quạt máy, mưa, bếp, ruồi son, ảo tưởng, màu, đòn gánh, ma… rất dễ thương như những bài thơ haiku nhỏ mà ta đọc bên một tách trà…

a book. a beautiful book…it is smart and it is beautiful. bring that book over here so i can look at it. would you like some tea?”

Cuốn Ru mở đầu nhẹ nhàng:

“Je suis venue au monde pendant l’offensive du Tet, aux premiers jours de la nouvelle annee du Singe, lorsque les longues chaines de petards accrochees devant les maisons explosaient en polyphonie avec le son des mitraillettes.
J’ai vu le jour a Saigon, la ou les debris des petards eclates en mille miettes coloraient le sol de rouge comme des petales de cerisier, ou comme le sang des deux millions de soldats deployes, eparpilles dans les villes et les villages d’un Vietnam dechire en deux.

Je suis nee a l’ombre de ces cieux ornes de feux d’artifice, decores de guirlandes lumineuses, traverses de roquetttes et de fusees. Ma naissance a eu pour mission de remplacer les vies perdues. Ma vie avait le devoir de continuer celle de ma mere.”

“I came into the world early in the Year of the Monkey, during the Tet Offensive, when long strings of fireworks hanging from the houses exploded in polyphony with the sound of machine guns.
Saigon was my birthplace, and thousands of bits of old firecrackers covered the soil in red as if they were petals from a cherry tree, or the blood of two million soldiers, scattered through the towns and villages of a Vietnam torn in two.

I was born in the shadows of skies embroidered with fireworks, hung in luminous garlands shot through with rockets and missiles. My birth was to replace the lost lives. My life was to prolong my mother’s.”

Tống Mai

3 thoughts on “Ru và Mãn – Kim Thúy

    1. From: Tống Mai
      Mar 24, 2013

      Trọng có đoán được đó là một cái bàn không? Lỏm giữa của bàn đọc sách của chị : )

  1. From: Tống Mai
    May 13, 2015

    I remember some student in my high school who complained about their history class. We were young. We did not know that only a country at peace could afford history classes. Elsewhere, people are too busy with their day-to-day survival to devote time to the writing of their shared story. If I had not lived in the majestic silence of great frozen lakes, in the daily monotony of peacetime, with love celebrated in balloons, confetti, and chocolate, I would probably never have noticed the arched back of the old woman who lived near my great-grandfather’s grave in the Mekong Delta. She was old, so very old that her sweat ran down her wrinkles like a gentle and persistent stream furrowing the earth. One step at a time, she walked down the stairs backward in order to keep her balance and avoid plunging forward, head first. How many grains of rice has she planted? How long has she kept her feet in the mud? How many times has she witnessed the sun setting on her rice field? How many dreams has she abandoned to find herself bent double thirty years, forty years later?

    We tend to forget these women who have borne Vietnam on their backs while their men bore guns on theirs. We forget them because under their cone-shaped hats they never looked up to the sky. They only waited for the sun to beat down upon them so they could pass out instead of falling asleep. If they had let sleep come to them, they would have had time to pic­ture their sons blown into pieces or their husbands floating on a river like pieces of wreckage. The slaves of the cotton fields knew how to chant out their pain, but these women only let their sadness grow inside the chambers of their heart. The weight of their grief made them so heavy they could no longer stand up straight. Even after the men had come back from the jungle, walking the dikes again, circling the rice fields, these women continued to carry the weight of the inaudible story of Vietnam on their backs. More often than not, they would disappear in silence under this weight.

    The woman I knew died by losing her footing while sitting in an open-air toilet built over a catfish pond. Her plastic slippers skidded on one of the two wooden planks. If someone had been watching, he would have seen her cone-shaped hat suddenly drop behind the four wood panels that barely hid her crouching body. The panels surrounded her without protecting her. She died in her septic tank, right behind her hut. She fell between two planks and drowned in a hole of excrement as the catfish with their yellowed flesh, slippery skin, no scales and no memory rallied around her.

    From: wordswithoutborders.org – RU by Kim Thuy – Translation © 2009 Nigel Spencer.

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