It has been an incredible journey translating this master piece by Trần Băng Khuê. It has been my privilege.
“Những vệt máu đã khô trên mấy ngón tay. Chúng tan hoà vào nhau thành một thứ hình thù kì dị mang tên tội lỗi.”
“The blood had dried on my fingers. They merged together oddly into an appellation of blasphemy.”
The moon was bright red. My fingers in the dirt. The lumps of soft earth broke away, revealing a tongue that has disintegrated, turned black. My useless tongue. The tongue that could not keep its word. Then suddenly there it was, I discovered another tongue by it. It was tarried by the soil, but it was still clear that it was still fresh, its flesh damp with blood. I was very confused, for sure I had never buried such a tongue. Who’s tongue is this? Where did it come from? Why would anyone want to cut their tongue off and bury it as I did?
Trần Băng Khuê, author of a selection of published short stories. You will find a couple of her translated short stories here on SONGNGUTAITRAM and Litviet.
The summer was pouring liquid fire. Again a redundant observation, clearly every summer there’s a fire, especially here. There has never been a cool summer. I’ve seen the white clouds in the blue sky each morning. They’re deceiving, delivering such a soothing fresh day. But, immediately, within moments, the sky may turn grey yet noon. The grey horizons usually paired with annoying dark clouds.
By Trần Băng Khuê, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm