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Friday, October 2, 2015


Olliver Wichmann in Staubsauger--Leipzig

Olliver Wichmann in Staubsauger. Olliver and I had several very productive email exchanges over the years, and it's just my luck that he's in Leipzig. Yesterday we talked for nearly six hours on Leipzig, East Germany, West Germany vs. East Germany, Singapore and the Strait of Malacca, race, IQ, crime, the Brixton part of London, Operation Norwood, Vietnamese in Germany, Turks in Berlin, Israel, Jews, Holocaust, black names in the US, remnants of Soviet architecture in Leipzig, German war guilt, how inconspicuous Germans are in the US, Germanic languages, media brain washing, Iroquois Nation, anarchic ideals, Dresden, Baedeker Blitz, Sebald, Leipzig native Max Beckmann, Otto Dix and how Germany is an occupied country. There are around 40,000 American troops here, second only to the 50,000 in Japan.



x larry said...

wow. can you write that conversation up, linh?

Linh Dinh said...

Yo x larry,

I'm going to write a Leipzig piece which will include some of the ideas Olliver and I bounced around last night. Each Monday in Dresden, there's a large protest against Muslim refugees/migrants, and a similar one, but much smaller, has popped up in Leipzig. At each, there are also counter protesters. I'm wondering if I should go to Dresden on Monday. After that, I won't be able to go since my classes will be on Mondays and Tuesdays.


x larry said...

hi again linh,
i need to look some of this up, i truly know shit about germany. still, i know dresden was bombed, razed to the ground. must have a seoul feel about it now, no old buildings, etc... but i think of the whole world like that now, at least the cities and all parts heavily touched by 'the west'. anywhere that not so long ago--to me--could still feel at leaat a BIT romantic (if you squinted your eyes), now it's all reality, reality, reality. oh! if i didn't have children! i would immediately continue on my old road, getting very drunk most every night, taking a bitter intensity to its logical conclusion. there's a great somerset maugham short story i read so long ago, set in some chinese city a hundred years ago (i lived in korea, very down and out, when i read it), of some white guy (ok, dread english, but i knew nothing of that at the time and just pictured, well, me, or some american) who had completely dropped out and lived out his days, maybe 30 years?, strung out on heroin in some obscure room on some obscure street in this city no westerner had ever heard of. oh it sounded tempting!


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I lived mostly in the US from 1975 until 2018, but have returned to Vietnam, where I live in remote Ea Kly. I've also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), a novel, Love Like Hate (2010), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), and six collections of poems, with a Collected Poems apparently cancelled by Chax Press from external pressure. 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). My writing has been translated into Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in Tokyo, London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.