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Friday, July 31, 2015

I've accepted a teaching position at the University of Leipzig,

so will be in Europe from September 29th until March 3rd. During those five plus months, I will keep this blog going with email interviews and articles about the United States. As for photos, I'll only upload images that are US-related. This won't turn into Postcards from the End of the European Union.

I have two more months to write Postcards, so I'd like take another trip, if possible. You can help to put me on a bus or train by buying these postcard sized photos, or you can just Paypal me money. I thank you in advance.







From my first article in 2010, I've posted more than 340,000 words here, but without your generous support over the years, this frantic activity would not have been possible. I thank you.


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* Thanks for a $20 contribution from a repeat donor in Brighton, MI!
* Thanks for a $5 donation from Tacoma, WA!
* Thanks for a $50 contribution from a repeat donor in Cleveland. Photos have been sent!
* Thanks for a $25 contribution from a repeat donor in Salem, OR. Photos have been sent!
* Thanks for a $20 donation from Philadelphia. Photos will be sent!
* Thanks for a $20 donation from Lincoln, NE.



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14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats!!!

Linh Dinh said...

Thanks, Anonymous. After living so precariously for so long, this job will me a bit of breathing room. I also look forward to being in Europe during this crazy period. So much is happening over there, and much of it bad.

Linh Dinh said...

A while back, a German reader emailed me:

If only our master of poets, Goethe, could have read
your essays - he may have changed his attitude towards
the USA.... for he once wrote:

Amerika, du hast es besser
als unser Kontinent, der alte,
hast keine verfallenen Schlösser
und keine Basalte.
Dich stört nicht im Innern
zu lebendiger Zeit
unnützes Erinnern
und vergeblicher Streit.


America, you have it better
than our old continent,
you have no rotten castles
and no basalt
You are not troubled on the inside
through useless remembering
and wasted quarrels
while time is lively.....

Ian Keenan said...

“Leipzig is the place for me! Tis quite a little Paris; people there acquire a certain easy finish’d air" - Goethe. Congrats! You will love it and Leipzig will love you.

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Ian,

It will certainly be an education for me. I've been lucky. My two years in Italy, I spent in Certaldo, the birthplace of Boccaccio, then I had nine months in East Anglia, the home and subject matter of Sebald.

Leipzig had a key role in the collapse of the Berlin Wall and Kurt Weil's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny premiered there in 1930. The Vietnamese cigarette gangs are not killing each other as much as in the 90's but they're still active, and I want to take a closer look at the Vietnamese community in Germany. I've been to Berlin (including its eastern side) and Munich, but both of those trips together lasted just over a week.


Linh

Ian Keenan said...

You got me into Sebald whom I much enjoy even tho everyone seems to copy his surface techniques these days (not you) - Javier Marias, Cesar Aria, Ben Lerner's Atocha Station, S.D. Chrostowska and scores of workshoppers. I didn't know about the cigarette gangs so I can't list them as an influence, how they relate their experience to the post-GDR folks.

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Ian,

Vietnamese cigarette gangs in Germany committed about 60 murders in the 90's. The nastiest guy was Ngọc Thiện (Jade Benevolence), who was only 24 at the time of his capture in 1996. Convicted of eight murders, plus other charges, including kidnapping, he's serving life in prison. Two of his soldiers also received life and one, 10 years. A dozen more got lesser penalties.

Reader Christian writes from Germany, "Leipzig is a beautiful spot. And you can easily disguise by trying to sell cigarettes (that's what the Vietnamese Mafia did there, shortly after re-unification). Who knows, maybe they are still there (Vietnam was a communist brother state as you know) and they let you join their ranks and you'll finally become a Mafia Don in Leipzig!"

Street dealers have to pay around $1,200 a month to the appropriate gang to sell cigarettes at a designated spot.


Linh

Linh Dinh said...

P.S. Around the same time, Vietnamese gangs in London were selling marijuana that they grew inside apartments...

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Ian,

The best Vietnamese website ever was run out of Berlin, I'm not joking, and its bilingual name, talawas, means "we are what."

It was the baby of novelist Pham Thi Hoai and her Vietnamese-speaking German husband, Dietmar Erdmann.

Here's a short video of Pham Thi Hoai.


Linh

Ian Keenan said...

I've been amongst the the curious about the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei painters since I saw their first group show in the US at MassMOCA and various Neo Rauch shows.. early Matthias Weischer too.. They're all still there.

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Ian,

Thanks for clueing me in. I know nothing about them. When I still went to galleries and paid attention to painting, I loved Martin Kippenberger particularly.

Linh

Ian Keenan said...

John Yau edited an anthology of poems based on Rauch paintings
http://www.amazon.com/New-Smoke-Anthology-Poetry-Inspired/dp/0979149509

Yau on Rauch's Met show
http://www.brooklynrail.org/2007/09/artseen/neo-rauch-para

a paragraph I wrote on his last show
http://ianckeenan.blogspot.com/2014/12/whats-up-for-one-more-day-v-xix.html

x larry said...

linh,
congratulations, and welcome to europe. i've had leipzig on my travel list for some time as one of the more attractive sounding german towns. but goethe was RIGHT, perceptive guy of course, and pulled thoughts right from my own brain--the backwardness, the backward thinking, the incessant weight of the past, and for what? this is right-wing looney land. i'll be interested to see your impressions of germany--i've never been. i've just spent a long weekend with my 'father in law'--murderous drunk would certainly describe him better--who managed to call my four year old (this is in his two-day-a-year visit from barcelona) lazy and a drunk (yes, he said that, twice) within a minute or so of a tortuous visit. this is an oxford grad. if i described his visit, you wouldn't i think believe it. anyway, it's certainly an experience and again, welcome.
cheers
d

Linh Dinh said...

Yo x larry,

I haven't been over there in a while, so am very much looking forward to it. Whenever I'm outside the US, I see world events more clearly since the rest of the world simply becomes more present. Joe Bageant called the US a hologram. I see it as a house of mirrors. Since my work is here, however, I will also look forward to coming back.


Linh

Followers

About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.