Philosophical Parsnip

Americana, good books, and the occasional poem

Posts tagged vietnam war

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Kien imagines his old friends working on the land, slashing and burning in the dry season, weeding in the wet. Going to the jungle in the wet season to pick mushrooms and cut bamboo shoots. Catching fish and hunting animals, delivering crops. Hardening calloused hands, broadening muscled backs.

The sacks of salt and rice, the cassavas, the sweat of hard labor, would they have generated in him the joy in life which seemed to have forever forsaken him?

The Sorrow of War, Bao Ninh

Filed under farming country life farm peace happiness bao ninh the sorrow of war vietnam vietnam war literature fiction novel fishing rice

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He looked over to Kien and said gently, “So, you’re off to the war? Not that I can prevent you. I’m old, you are young. I couldn’t stop you if I wanted to. I just want you to understand me when I say that a human being’s duty on this earth is to live, not to kill.” Then he said, “Taste all manner of life. Try everything. Be curious and inquire for yourself. Don’t turn your back on life.”

The Sorrow of War, Bao Ninh

Filed under bao ninh the sorrow of war war vietnam vietnam war literature fiction life experience youth killing peace

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Some of his loved ones he had not bothered to stay in contact with. Others had vanished. He had left yet others in his wake. He had lived selfishly these last years without looking back. Time and his work had taken over his life. He had sought neither  opportunities nor responsibilities. His memories that afternoon reawakened in him the sense of sacred duty. He felt he must press on to fulfill his obligations, his duty as a writer.

The Sorrow of War, Bao Ninh

Filed under vietnam novel fiction sorrow of war bao ninh vietnamese novels vietnam war