By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Beauty is not in perfection; beauty is by the years marred.
I’ve started the translations of NVT’s work a few years back, introduced to me by a very kind recluse – in the desire to expand my Vietnamese vocabulary. Ignorance is bliss since NVT’s writing is not for the faint-hearted. Even in NVT’s regular conversational posts on social media, I found it impossible to understand.
I’ve never been afraid of openly displaying my mistakes, I believe “to err is to be human”. If a barely third-grade greying middle age student like me can still learn – there’s hope for many. But often I’m on the verge of tears (metaphorically- witnessing me crying is an ocular trauma). My daughter had refused to read one of the shortest pieces, simply because of the excessive and unnecessary use of ellipses.
Here I am, re-editing my earlier translation of NVT’s short stories; most are an average three-minute read. There is no eloquent way to express the quality of those translations except – they were crap.
To err is to be human, but the pain is always a tear-jerker.
May 1st 2019