Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"The Art of Vietnam" by Dallas Wiebe

Out of the blue, a Vietnam war veteran receives a summons from an old war buddy who asks his friend to come see himself and the wife he met in that country. What follows is disturbingly indicative of how battle scars can influence one's perspective on the world and on one's ability to tell a straight story. Read by Scoot. Time 10:13.

We don't know if Dallas Wiebe was ever in Vietnam himself, but we do know that he is from Kansas and has taught extensively in the Midwest. As his publisher's website says, "Burning Deck has published three volumes of short stories: The Transparent Eye-Ball, Going to the Mountain, and Skyblue’s Essays. His most recent book is Our Asian Journey (MLR Editions Canada), a fictionalized account of the great Mennonite trek to Central Asia in the 1880s and a study of the impact of language (Biblical) on a community. He has received the Aga Khan Fiction Prize, a Pushcart Prize (1979), an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship, and the Ohio Governor's Award for the Arts." Thanks to author and scholar Alan Leibowitz for donating several Burning Deck volumes to our collection!


Marc said...

Really great choice

Just curious what other people think was really going on here. In my mind I was picturing two very scarred veterans, both a bit out of touch with reality and with themselves. The truth to Ken's marriage is slightly unclear to me, but the possibilties that exist are excellent; it seems that either way the story of the maariage is as equally surreal as the characters.

(I loved the weekday breakdown, it was very intriguing: Tuesday I emit, Wednesady I recieve, Thursday I create)

Scoot said...

We wondered what exactly was going on, as well! It is a curious little story, though obstensively about how deeply a war can wound.

Thanks again for listening and for your accurate (it seems to us) comments. We still have a lot of catching up to do around here, so hang in there until we post again!

Scoot said...

"Obstensively"? We didn't mean to coin a word--in our sleepy state we meant "ostensively," of course.