Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Thanh Tam Tuyen
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Thanh Tâm Tuyền (1936-2006), real name Dư Văn Tâm, was a poet, fiction writer, playwright, critic and editor.

A portrait of the poet by Duy Thanh, in Tôi không còn cô độcHe was born in Vinh, moved to Saigon in 1954, emigrated to the US in 1983, and died in Minnesota in 2006. The first and most famous poetry collection, Tôi không còn cô độc [I’m No Longer Desolate], was released in Saigon in 1956. That same year, he co-founded, with Mai Thảo, the groundbreaking literary journal Sáng Tạo [Creativity]. Drafted into the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, he served two stints, 1962-1966, then from 1968 until the end of the war in 1975. His military duties include serving as an instructor at the University of Political Warfare in Đà Lạt, and editor of Nguyệt San Quốc Phòng, the monthly periodical of the South Vietnamese Defense Department. After the Fall of Saigon, he was imprisoned for seven years in remote Yên Bái by the victorious Hanoi government. Released, he emigrated to the US. Thanh Tâm Tuyền introduced a cleaner, starker music into Vietnamese poetry. He was also the first Viet poet to write about jazz. Describing Thanh Tâm Tuyền's innovative poetics, Võ Phiến writes:

"As the precursor of poesie libre, Thanh Tâm Tuyền in the past defended his poetic learnings by explaining that in the older poetry, i.e. prewar poetry, the rhythm and music were 'simple', 'limited' while those in the poesie libre were 'of a vaster scale, a greater complexity, on a higher artistic level'. He insisted that in poesie libre 'rhymes of similar sounds may be discarded in favor of hidden, suggested rhythm and cadence (which could even lead to dissonance), the result of a 'free' poem (poem libre, hơi thở tự do) could be expanded with more ease than those in a more traditional poem. In the poesie libre, he also found what he called the 'rhythm of images', then he 'even found the rhythm of thoughts', and both of these, once combined, are 'expressions of the rhythm of consciousness'" (193).
Some of his poems have been put to music, such as "Lệ đá xanh", reincarnated as the song "Nửa hồn thương đau" by Phạm Đình Chương.

[edit] Works
Tôi không còn cô độc (Người Việt, 1956), poetry
Bếp lửa (Saigon: Nguyễn Đình Vượng, 1957), novel
Liên đêm mặt trời tìm thấy (Sáng Tạo, 1964), poetry
Khuôn mặt (Sáng tạo, 1964), short stories
Dọc đường (Tân văn, 1966), short stories
Cát lầy (Giao Điểm, 1967), novel
"Ba chị em" (1967), a play
Mù khơi (1970), novel
Tiếng động (1970), short stories
Tạp ghi (1970), essays
Một chủ nhật khác (Văn, 1975), novel
Thơ ở đâu xa (California: Trầm Phục Khắc, 1990), poetry
[edit] References

Bùi Giáng and Thanh Tâm Tuyền in Saigon, 1973Võ Phiến. Literature in South Vietnam, 1954-1975 (Melbourne: Vietnamese Language & Culture Publications, 1992)
[edit] Thanh Tâm Tuyền online
"Phục sinh", translated into English by Linh Đinh
Thanh Tâm Tuyền page on Tiền Vệ
Thanh Tâm Tuyền page on Đặc Trưng, with 20 poems
a feature on Radio Free Asia
"Trăng phố buổi sớm", written in 1993
"Lên cao", written in 1995
An essay by Thụy Khuê
An essay by Đặng Tiến
"Tưởng niệm nhà thơ Thanh Tâm Tuyền" a broadcast by Thụy Khuê
"So sánh văn Mai Thảo, Dương Nghiễm Mậu và Thanh Tâm Tuyền," a broadcast by Thụy Khuê
"Tôi có còn cô độc?" by Kiệt Tấn
An article by Đặng Tiến
An article by Bùi Vĩnh Phúc
An article by Bùi Ngọc Tuấn
An article by Nguyễn Vy Khanh
"Bài thơ 'Đen' của Thanh Tâm Tuyền: bài thơ jazz đầu tiên (và có thể duy nhất) của Việt Nam" by Hoàng Ngọc-Tuấn
"Vài suy nghĩ về 'cây thơ' Thanh Tâm Tuyền trên sân Văn Miếu," by Hoàng Ngọc-Tuấn
A porfolio of nine portraits by painter Đinh Cường
"Thêm một thông tin về nhà thơ Thanh Tâm Tuyền, by Bùi Chát
Phạm Kiều Tùng discusses "Bài học Đạo Đức Kinh"
"Bốn cuộc thảo luận của nhóm Sáng Tạo"
"Thanh Tâm Tuyền, tỉnh Bình Dương và ngày tháng dạy học," by Võ Kỳ Điền, a former student of his
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Categories: Poets | Fiction writers | Critics | Editors | Playwrights
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