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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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Hectic two days. Besides classes, I had to register as a resident alien and set up a bank account. Classes went well, and at the end of today's session, the students in my creative non-fiction class pounded on the table to give me an ovation. That really cheered me up. Before we talked at length about writing, I showed them images by Edward Hopper, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Vivian Maier and Jeff Wall, then we examined a passage by Jack London. I also brought up William T. Vollmann and George Orwell. Done, I asked the students to recommend the worst bars in Leipzig and they happily obliged.

Yesterday was my class about American dissidence on the internet. I began the session by showing the video above. My students were like, WTF!



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11 comments:

participant-observer-observed said...

Thrilled to hear you're teaching! I wish you could show the video to parents or grandparents of your students and then count how many feel the hairs on the backs of their necks stsnd on end!

Keep up the great work!

Linh Dinh said...

Hi participant-observer-observed,

Well, I'm thrilled to be taught by Leipzig!


Linh

Olliver said...

Vivian Maier was a great street photographer, very good choice for your class. Fortunately, quite a few images of her are available online:
http://www.vivianmaier.com/

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x larry said...

linh,
where do you find this stuff? a tough video to sit through--yet watching the baseball playoffs the past few days i don't know which is more sickening: between the highly unlikeable majority of uber-competitive a-hole players (ok, i admit, after being from kc originally but emphatically being against them that right after houston seemed to have finished them off yesterday i nearly prayed they would come back, which they did... catholic guilt!), to the nauseating non-stop commentary (made me hanker for obnoxious as all hell howard cosell days). by nauseating i mean nearly everything: their macho tones, their know-it-all everything, but mainly just that they never, they just couldn't, shut up. i grew up watching the tigers with george kell as play by play announcer--what a treat, i had no idea at the time. he was quiet, understated, had a nice voice, used pleasing words, left lots of 'dead' air time.
i haven't seen any military shennanigans so far in the playoffs but soon will. no sport can resist, least of all baseball and football. they always are showcasing our great militants on mlb.com, showing their human side, showing, like the dude in the video said, what true heroes--the truest americans in fact--they are. well, they are protecting us, from all the little sand-n****s hiding under rocks, armed with duct tape, knives, rocket launchers, itching to destroy our freedoms. never mind that our military is the biggest in world history, and if i'm not mistaken larger than all others combined. to say nothing of our nuclear arsenal, hundreds of times bigger than the rest of the world's combined. to say nothing of our naked agression in scores of countries simultaneously. to say nothing of our naked agression at home--in the workplace, schools, and in especially sports, sports which are always on high alert and highly agressive (even ones that aren't inherently so like baseball) and where competition to the death and winning are the only things. quite a formula, quite a country.
cheers--must look up your references above

x larry said...

hi again linh,
would you think about recording some, or portions of your clases and posting them?

Linh Dinh said...

Yo x larry,

Recording is out of the question since these classes are mostly me interacting with the students. It would hamper their comments and, plus, it's likely against school policy.

I've proposed to a young poet in London that we do a reading there on November 17th at his apartment, with the audience his friends. If it's feasible, we'll record that and post it here.

Info about my London event at the ICA is below. If you're coming, I'll ask them to put you on the guest list. I've not seen Collins but Bergvall is one hell of a performer. I'll have to up my game to keep up with her.



Currently & Emotion Performances and Panel Discussion

17 Nov 20156:00 pm | Theatre | £7.00 to £10.00


This two-part event is the second to take place as part of Sophie Collins’ Associate Poet residency, and foregrounds the forthcoming publication of translation anthology Currently & Emotion (Test Centre, 2016), edited by Collins. The event consists of a series of performances by practitioners whose work and/or writing on translation is vital and necessarily politically charged. The second part of this event will involve a panel discussion that will focus on the current state of poetry translation, its attending issues of appropriation and role in contemporary culture.

Participants include Caroline Bergvall, Sophie Collins and Linh Dinh.

Chuck Olroski said...

Linh:

Can relate to students who applauded, I am happy for you. In comparison, last night on CNN, popular folk singer Cheryl Crow sang "The National Anthem" prior to the 1st Democrat gibberish debate, and she got lots of applause from the Hillary Youth and others present.

The Super Bowl "Flyover" video would make J. Goebbels envious. Thank you.

x larry said...

hi linh,
understand about a class recording. that's a great idea for a reading though. i've got class that day but am hoping to come up afterwards, then take off the next day (work experience) and the next (class)--i've yet to find the tender lie to tell them. i'd love to come to both events, looked up the ica i think it is, around picadilly right? presumably your friend's would be after? what are the times? (perhaps you could just email me if you don't want to keep posting a more or less personal exchange. thanks so much!

Rudy said...

Hi Linh,

Creative non-fiction, Jack London, William T. Vollmann, George Orwell. Ursula Haverbeck came to mind; I’m not sure why. Might have something to do with ‘insomnia is god’s gift to artists’ as someone once told me, even though I’m not one. Probably wouldn’t be a good idea to bring up Haverbeck, though.

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Rudy,

I don't know the author but will look into her.

I'm thinking of going to Dresden tomorrow. That city has inserted itself into the heart of this immigration/refugee/German identity debate.

Unseasonably cold and raining here. Yesterday, it even snowed...


Linh

Rudy said...

Hi Linh,

Orwell discussed the future. London discussed conditions present at his time. I have never read anything by Vollmann, but what I read about him last night suggests that he rampages with gusto in great, disordered detail through whatever’s going on around him.

Ursula Haverbeck is an historian of fairly minor note with one exception. She questions the official narrative of the Holocaust, and in so doing challenges one of the core doctrines of the Zionist movement. At nearly 87 years of age she now faces time in prison for a TV interview with Panorama in March of this year for questioning an aspect of history that threatens a significantly powerful entity.

I think this would be worth discussing, but I also think it would be hazardous to introduce it.

Rudy

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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.