[NetBehaviour] Vietnam, 1962

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Jan 22 04:54:46 CET 2020


You're welcome. There's very little rearrangement; nothing is out of 
order, and for most of it, in the beginning, it's as-is. Then I moved, 
left most of the text out of course, found a few sections as if something 
were passing by.

I would love to see a reading of the whole, perhaps with some simple sound 
as well. It really moved me, a country on the brink of terrible events, in 
an almost awkward state of quietude.

On Wed, 22 Jan 2020, Michael Szpakowski wrote:

> Gosh that is quite extraordinary Alan. As you say it reads like a great
> elegiac poem - you selected & rearranged a bit , yes? It has your stamp on
> it... Marvellous , chilling and marvellous and also in a strange way that
> the grimmest art can be, very beautiful, because it aids our understanding
> and our empathy and its formal structure supports that process but
> transcends the thing *simply* being informative or educational or anything
> one dimensional... thanks ! Michael
> 
> 
> Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone
> 
> On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 1:06 am, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com>
> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> Vietnam, 1962
> 
> http://www.alansondheim.org/Vietnam1962.png
> 
> Hello (to a man)
> (to a madam)
> (to a miss)
> 
> I am (1) an American soldier
> (2) an American officer who seeks friends
> to assist in fighting the enemy.
> 
> Who speaks English?
> 
> Come forward (1) closer
> (2) alone
> (3) one of you only
> 
> (to a man) What is your name?
> 
> Are you alone? Where are your friends?
> 
> What are you doing here?
> 
> Where are you from?
> 
> How far is your home from here? (1) in Kilometers?
> (2) in hours?
> 
> Who is the (one) (1) best known
> (2) most trustworthy
> (3) most reliable
> in (1) this area
> (2) this village
> (3) the nearest hamlet
> (4) the nearest town?
> 
> We wish to talk with him.
> 
> We are American soldiers.
> There are a lot of American troops in this area.
> 
> Are there any (1) resistance forces
> (2) individuals (3) groups
> (4) fighters (5) patriots
> (6) guerrillas (7) rebels
> (8) outlaws (9) escapees
> (10) deserters
> in the (1) woods (2) plains
> (3) hills (4) mountains
> (5) villages?
> 
> Are they fighting the enemy?
> Can we (1) trust them (2) rely on them?
> 
> How far (many kilometers to the nearest
> (1) staff (2) outfit (3) guard (4) relay station
> (5) courier (6) commander (7) telephone?
> 
> Guide us to (1) him (2) it.
> Choose the safest route.
> 
> Bring the commander here.
> 
> Where can we spend the (1) day (2) night in safety?
> 
> What are the best places for our sentries?
> 
> Bandage my wound. Take bandage from (my)
> (1) knapsack (2) bag (3) pocket (of mine).
> 
> Bring me medical aid.
> 
> I (1) can (2) cannot)
> (1) walk (2) ride a horse. Bring a cart.
> 
> I am thirsty.
> 
> Hide my parachute. Take my things with us.
> 
> Show us the (1) safest
> (2) shortest (3) best
> route to those (1) hills (2) woods (3) rocks
> (4) ridge of mountains.
> 
> If we must cross the (1) road (2) railroad,
> choose the safest spot.
> 
> Avoid (1) villages
> (2) inhabited places (3) roads.
> 
> In how many hours could we reach ________?
> 
> Does anyone here have
> relatives in the U.S.?
> 
> Are there any Americans (1) here
> (2) nearby (3) in the neighborhood?
> 
> Where is the (1) enemy
> (2) militia (3) police?
> How far?
> 
> We are looking for them.
> 
> ----------------------------------------
> 
> Good evening
> Good night
> 
> Don't be afraid. We
> are friends.
> 
> We will not harm you.
> Trust us.
> 
> We wish to talk with (1) you (2) master of the house
> (3) father of the family (4) your husband (5) your son
> (6) your father (7) your mother (8) your older sister or brother
> (9) your brother-in-law (10) your sister-in-law.
> 
> Come with me (1) outside
> (2) to the backyard
> (3) to the orchard.
> (4) to the garden.
> 
> Open the door or we will force it.
> 
> Move a little further away from the house so that we can talk
> undisturbed.
> 
> Have a (1) cigarette (2) candy (3) chocolate.
> 
> What is your name?
> What is your family name?
> 
> Are you safe here?
> 
> Are you afraid? Why?
> Of (1) whom (2) what?
> 
> Where is the (1) enemy
> (2) militia (3) police?
> 
> What is the name of this
> (1) village (2) area (3) forest (4) river?
> 
> Does (1) this (2) that
> road lead to a (1) village
> (2) town (3) crossroad?
> 
> We are American troops.
> 
> Bring (us) the (1) village chief
> (2) trustworthy man (3) friend (4) leader
> (5) member of the underground
> (6) member of the secret organization (to us).
> 
> We shall wait. All of you will wait.
> 
> I will go with you. Two of us will go with you.
> 
> Enter the (1) village
> (2) house (3) hut
> alone.
> 
> We shall wait (1) here
> (2) there.
> 
> How long will it take you to return - a quarter,
> a half hour, one hour?
> 
> Tell him nothing except that important friends wish to see him
> (1) at once (2) soon as possible (3) tonight.
> 
> Don't talk to anyone else
> about our business.
> 
> Promise, swear, hurry.
> 
> Don't shout.
> 
> In case of emergency we will move to (1) this (wood) (2) that (wood)
> and wait.
> 
> Join us (1) there
> (2) in the woods.
> 
> (1) Your nickname (2) your code name
> in the future will be ______. Mine will be ______.
> 
> Give us information
> about the enemy.
> 
> Who could give us information? Bring (1) him (2) them here.
> 
> Distinguish what you know personally from what you have heard
> from (1) a reliable source (2) an unreliable source.
> 
> Please don't (1) exaggerate (2) minimize.
> 
> (Do the) (1) security troops (2) militia (3) gendarmerie
> (4) police (5) territorial troops patrol this area?
> 
> Do they use (1) scout cars (2) trucks (3) tanks
> (4) motorcycles (5) horses (6) bicycles (7) radios
> (8) aeroplanes (9) telephone communications?
> 
> Are there any local (1) individuals (2) men (3) women
> (1) in the villages (2) in the woods) in the area
> spying for the enemy?
> 
> Are they (1) known (2) unknown to
> (1) you (2) your friends
> (3) the people?
> 
> Do the people (1) like (2) protect (3) hate (4) fear
> them?
> 
> If we cannot trust a man,
> (1) wink your right eye
> (2) place your left hand on your stomach
> (3) move your hand to the right, unnoticed,
> until we note your signal.
> 
> ----------------------------------------
> 
> 
> selections, in order,
> 
> from Vietnamese Phrase Book, July, 1962
> 
> published for the use of all concerned,
> By Order of the Secretary of the Army, G. H. Decker,
> Department of the Army Pamphlet No. 20-611, 176 pp.
> English-transliterated Vietnamese-Vietnamese
> 
> The Phrase Book is haunting, written before the war exploded,
> on the verge of exploding, no mention of napalm, bombing raids,
> however a phrase in the glossary, "neutralize the enemy," sign
> of things to come. The book now reads as an elegy, unutterable,
> miserable; I imagine a slow reading, over hours, of the English
> in its entirety, perhaps on Yom Kippur or any day of reflection
> and memory, of the future anterior of the memory of slaughter,
> of the world taking the breath away
> 
> would like us to be there
> to speak, bear witness, to hear that
> 
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