Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Lê Xuân Nhuận
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lê Xuân Nhuận (aka Nhuan Xuan Le or Nhuan Le), born on January 2, 1930 in Huế (Vietnam) is a Vietnamese-American poet/writer under the name Thanh-Thanh.[1]
He was among the rare Vietnamese who have, since 1947, opposed all the political regimes in Vietnam: France's colonialism, Emperor Bao Dai's feudalism, President Ngo Dinh Diem's dictatorship,[2] President Nguyen Van Thieu's stratocracy, and of course, communism. He had consequently been at times arrested, imprisoned, exiled, persecuted. But, although he did not agree with and was ill-treated by the French, Bao Dai, Ngo Dinh Diem, and Nguyen Van Thieu, he had zealously served under them, against communism above all, and effectively contributed to glorifying the True, the Good and the Beautiful. He was finally admitted to the United States as a political refugee in 1992. As a poet, he composes his own poems in English and translates other authors' works into English verse.[3] He recently published Poems by Selected Vietnamese, introducing over 100 pieces by 55 poets living in the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Vietnam.[4] He is a member of International PEN (Center USA).
1 Early life
2 French Occupation & Bao Dai's Puppet Administration
3 Ngo Dinh Diem's Dictatorship
4 Nguyen Van Thieu's Stratocracy
5 Vietnamese Communist Regime
6 New Life in the United States
7 References
8 External links

[edit] Early life
Lê Xuân Nhuận’s father was a native of Hà Nội (Northern Vietnam) who came to Huế, the then imperial capital (Central Vietnam) to be a mandarin[5] under Emperor Bảo Đại who had been at school in France. His mother, a native of Huế, was daughter of a royal physician under Emperor Khải Định (Bao Dai’s father). He went to school in Huế and was many years chosen as one of the best schoolboys to receive awards presented by Empress Nam Phuong (Bao Dai’s wife). He had, at the age of 13, his first poems and short stories published in various famous magazines in Ha Noi, the then literary capital of the country. He also was politically influenced by his teacher, Tráng Cử, son of Prince Cường Để, who had been in Japan, operating against the French colonialists in Vietnam.

[edit] French Occupation & Bao Dai's Puppet Administration
The French rulers were ousted by the Imperial Japanese Army in March 1945; then Emperor Bao Dai was dethroned by the Vietnamese Communist Party (Việt Minh) in August that year. When World War II ended, the French expeditionary forces re-occupied most parts of Vietnam. From 1947 to 1954, Lê Xuân Nhuận co-operated with the various newspapers in Hué City, especially the two bi-weekly oppositive "Công Lý" (Justice) and "Dân Đen" (The Pariah) issued throughout the Central Vietnam Region. He was permanently threatened by both the French Federal Security (Liêm Phóng Liên Bang) and the Vietnamese Nationalist Security (Công An Quốc Gia) Services. When he wrote the fictitious novel "Trai Thời Loạn" (Wartime Youths), implying resistance to the French who wanted to re-establish their domination over Vietnam, and ex-Emperor Bao Dai who wanted to restore his reign, Nhuận was consequently arrested and imprisoned, in 1949. In 1954, he was mobilized, as a professional (writer/journalist), into the French-supported Vietnamese National Army. He served at the Second Military Region Headquarters, as war correspondent, military press editor, Psychological Warfare lecturer, and Chief of the radio broadcasting bureau "Voice of the Army, Central Vietnam." During that period, Nhuận succeeded in creating the “Xây-Dựng”[6] literary group composed of dozens of well-known poets/writers, and its publishing section which produced tens of valued works.

[edit] Ngo Dinh Diem's Dictatorship
When Ngo Dinh Diem was appointed Prime Minister by Bao Dai, the then Chief of State of Vietnam (Quốc Gia Việt Nam), he was resisted by many people, especially the State of Vietnam's Army headed by General Nguyen Van Hinh, son of Ex-Premier Nguyen Van Tam, who both were pro-French. The Geneva Conference (1954) resulted in dividing the country into two, putting North Vietnam under the Vietnamese communists. Lê Xuân Nhuận realized that Diem was supported by the United States, and the US wanted to help South Vietnam get rid of the French colonists and fight against the Communists. He refused to obey orders by Nguyen Van Hinh and Truong Van Xuong, the Second Military Region Commander, who tried to step up the campaign against Ngo Dinh Diem. Nhuận separated himself from the Headquarters and used the "Voice of the Army from Central Vietnam" to support Diem in Saigon, the new capital of South Vietnam, so that the Hinh and Xuong's efforts were effectless in the Central Region, and this encouraged and helped pro-Diem elements to succeed in the Southern Region. Nhuận taught, with the USIS and American Consulate General's help, the first ever English by-Radio course for Vietnamese listeners. Ngo Dinh Diem deposed Bao Dai (by a referendum in which Nhuan played an active role), became president of the newly-created Republic of Vietnam (Việt Nam Cộng Hòa) in 1955. Nhuận's Xây-Dựng group[7] was recognized in the National Cultural Festival as one of the main branches of Vietnam Cultural Tree, for its achievements.[8] But Diem and his government grew gradually arbitrary and lost the support of the people[[1]]. Nhuan, chief of administrative police in Huế,[9] as the main lecturer for a political and civic course at the Police Department, denounced the evils of Diem's faction[[2]]. He was therefore degraded, put under house arrest, and then banished from Hue to Cao Nguyên (now called Tây Nguyên), the officially categorized "malarian and dangerous" region, in 1960. Diem and his brother, Advisor Ngô Đình Nhu, launched an offensive against the main Buddhist[3] temples and leaders[4] then secretly contacted the enemy[5] in 1963.[10] At that time Nhuận taught English at the Duy Tân School in Buôn Ma Thuột.

[edit] Nguyen Van Thieu's Stratocracy
After the 1963 November coup in which Ngo Dinh Diem was killed, the R-VN was ruled by the generals, including Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, Nguyễn Cao Kỳ. Nhuận was made Chief of National Police[11] Trưởng Ty Cảnh Sát Quốc Gia for Quảng Đức Province.[12] In the 1967 Presidential Election, Nguyen Cao Ky schemed to overthrow Nguyen Van Thieu. Realizing that Thieu was better than Ky, Nhuan, as Director of Police Special Branch (Public Safety & Counter-Intelligence) Giám Đốc Cảnh Sát Đặc Biệt for Region II, seated in Pleiku, disclosed the conspiracy to his CIA Advisors and asked them to stop the plot, which they did; and Nguyen Van Thieu was elected president.[13] But Nhuan soon saw signs of Thieu's stratocracy and officially voiced his opinion, for which he lost his position, at the beginning of the 1970s. He cooperated with the US Phượng Hoàng[14] (Phoenix Program) Advisors in Military Region II[15] in Nha Trang to create a training center where he was a lecturer.
After the 1973 Paris Peace Accords to end the Vietnam War, Nhuan was appointed Director of Police Special Branch for Region I (while General Ngô Quang Trưởng was CG of Military Region I), stationed in Đà Nẵng, in order not only to neutralize the VC infrastructure but also to fix the internal affairs already uncontrollable there. Nhuận succeeded in ending all Vietnamese Communist activities, and stabilizing the then-chaotic political [[6]] and religious[16] situation, in all those six northern cities of the country, during his one-and-a-half-year assignment, prior to the RVN total fall in 1975.[17]
He cooperated with the CIA in 1973-75 in infiltrating Polish and Hungarian secret agents into their communist parties and governments, which lead to the collapse of the Eastern European Communist systems in the late 1980s.[18]

[edit] Vietnamese Communist Regime
North Vietnam as communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam's Army took over Saigon, capital of South Vietnam, and nationalist Republic of Vietnam dissolved on April 30, 1975[7]. Prior to that Tháng Tư Đen Black April, Lê Xuân Nhuận was captured by the enemy on 4-17-1975, after the fall of Da Nang on March 29. He was imprisoned[8] at many so-called reeducation camps, until 4-20-1987.While enduring hard labor, starvation, illnesses, exhaustion, moral persecution[9], despair,[19] during over a dozen years, he tried to create in his mind numerous poems, a lot of them were forgotten through time in jail and many more years under surveillance afterwards. The remaining pieces were later printed in the Free World, under the title "Cơn Ác Mộng" (The Nightmare). Eventually, he received asylum in the United States, as a former political refugee.

[edit] New Life in the United States
Owing to the "Orderly Departure Program", (Chương Trình H.O.), Lê Xuân Nhuận came to the United States, together with his wife and two unmarried daughters (he has six children) on January 17, 1992. He started his new life by going to US schools, writing memoirs, composing poetry in English, translating Vietnamese poems into English verse, contributing his writings to some 30 US and UK magazines and anthologies, and publishing books.[20] While researching political and religious matters, he found out that the Marian Apparitions in La Vang, Quảng Trị, Vietnam, was a mere fabrication; this was later confirmed by Pope John Paul II[21] on the "Bicentenary of Our Lady’s Apparitions in La Vang" in 1998. His other pseudonyms include Kiều Ngọc (prose), Nguyệt Cầm (drama), Người Thơ (critique), Tú Ngông (satire), Đức Cố LÊ (research). His new works have recently been published in the US:
Lê Xuân Nhuận. Về Vùng Chiến-Tuyến. Westminster, CA: Văn Nghệ, 1996. (Return to the Front Line) ISBN 1-886566-15-1
Thanh-Thanh. Cơn Ác-Mộng. Fairfield, CA: Xây-Dựng, 1998. (The Nightmare) ISBN 978-0-9665293-0-2
Lê Xuân Nhuận. Cảnh-Sát-Hoá, Quốc-Sách Yẻu-Tử của Việt-Nam Cộng-Hòa. San Jose, CA: Xây-Dựng, 2002. (The Police Plan: An R-VN's Aborted National Policy) ISBN 978-0-9665293-7-1
Thanh-Thanh Poems by Selected Vietnamese. Alameda, CA: Xây-Dựng, 2005. ISBN 978-0-9763498-1-5
Lê Xuân Nhuận. Việt-Nam Cộng-Hoà - Quốc-Sách Yểu-Tử: Cảnh-Sát-Hoá. Alameda, CA: Xây-Dựng, 2006. (The Republic of Vietnam - An Aborted National Policy: The Police Plan) ISBN 978-0-9665293-8-8

[edit] References
^ Poems by Vietnamese
^ Carter, James M. (2008). Inventing Vietnam. Cambridge University Press. p. 82. ISBN 9780521888653.
^ See vi:Giáo hội Phật giáo Việt Nam Thống nhất
^ See vi:Học tập cải tạo
^ - No Mary in La Vang

[edit] External links
Retrieved from ""
Categories: Translators to English Vietnamese Americans Vietnamese poets

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