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Linh Dinh on “Corpses in Ocean”
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I introduced Linh Dinh‘s ferocious, touching, painfully autobiographical essay “Corpses in Ocean” as follows:

As my Vietnam veteran VT colleagues can attest, that atrociously bloody war seemed totally pointless at the time. (Almost as pointless as destroying the Middle East for Israel today.) But now, looking back with pride, we can reflect that had we not made such heroic efforts to save ‘Nam from the Godless commies, Linh Dinh would probably never have written in English. So, quoting Madeleine Albright, “we think the price was worth it.”

In this interview Linh elaborates on “Corpses in Ocean”:

“This last piece was very painful to write because it involves my two-year-old nephew. The fact that he’s in a very difficult situation is intolerable. And I’m very angry and sad because I’m impotent. I can’t do anything about it now, because I don’t have access to him.

“The article raises so many issues, not just personal ones: the Vietnam war, its repercussions…my mother-in-law is very angry. She’s had a horrible life because of the war. Her husband was in a reeducation camp for thirteen years. She lost her business. She could barely survive with her young children. There’s all this frustration, all this anger. And for the longest time there was tremendous desperation to escape Vietnam.”

Linh himself grew up in the USA, became a talented and celebrated writer, but finally had to escape back to Vietnam. Why? Mainly because his honesty on various matters, including 9/11, made him unemployable and unwelcome on the American literary circuit.

The interview touches on the emptiness and vulgar materialism of contemporary American and Vietnamese culture; the inevitability of racial and ethnic nationalism; the problem of market-dominant minorities including the Chinese in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and the Jews in North America and Europe; and other non-mainstream topics.

(Republished from Truth Jihad by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Political Correctness, Vietnam 
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  1. klcard says:

    Hope to meet LD some day here in Vung Tau, I’ve been reading his stuff for years. His prose just keeps getting better and better and output is prolific.

    However, Belly’s is not really my cup of tea with the usually morose crowd of Aussies – being from the southern USA I have nothing in common with them. I usually imbibe at the VFB which is my preferred bar in VT. Nice airy place and the friendly girls are not pushy.

  2. I fell for the same illusion, in that everyone told me the mainland US was this great place (and it was, decades before) and in Hawaii where I grew up, anyone with any ambition would leave.

    Ambition’s great in a growing economy with social mobility, it’s a curse in a shrinking economy that’s lost social mobility.

    I don’t know why all these people in Asia want to come to the US and have no health care, no family, little pay, lousy food, and run a serious risk of being homeless.

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