We still have to act, but in a smart way

Thứ năm - 21/06/2018 08:02
logochuan - Do Doan Hoang is a popular name that reminds his colleagues, readers, viewers and listeners of hundreds of cases that he helped bust, both with calmness and courage as well as prudence and professionalism, over the past more than 20 years. The cases were related to unsafe food, wildlife illegal trafficking, child sex abuse, illegal forest logging, etc. Amid the crisis in general in the press circle and also the pressure of the unprecedented competitiveness from social network sites, which are both close to and falling apart from the contents, Do Doan Hoang is still, lonely as always be, on his way, and never stop for a little while, to pursue one of the most difficult type of press genres: Investigation.

+ Hello Do Doan Hoang, I am wondering where we should begin. I could not prepare anything, for you are a person that an interviewer could ask any questions. As a result, the interviewer is trapped in the thought of what to ask in order to not waste the chance.

- I am sometimes said to be a little bit talkative and know how to speak. I think that it is just a way to look at me and in fact I am not really like that. To be precise, I always want to create something unique of me, which is most sincere and straightforward. Therefore, you can ask me any questions you like.

+ As I know, you have been a journalist for more than 20 years now. Could I ask you this much-touted and boring question: Is it you that chose the job or the job that chose you? Before working as a journalist, no, before becoming a student of journalism, what did you think about this career?

- This is a very good question and I like it very much. At times, I questioned myself the same thing: Whether the job chose me or the other way around. By the way, is it you that chose this literary job or it chose you? It is not very easy to give a clear-cut answer, isn’t it? However, it is said that it is hard for people to choose their jobs, but it is possible for jobs to choose who to do them. I think it is better to say it that way, for you must be suitable for the jobs to choose you, right? Say, you must be qualified and competent in order to do this or that job. You cannot say that literary job sets stricter criteria to meet than those required for journalists. For me, I cannot say that journalism is nobler than literary job, either. That is because every job has its own special features and characteristics and only those who meet its requirements can take the job. It is unrealistic to force people to choose their jobs. I’ve been teaching journalism for years now and noticed that every student wants to be a journalist to travel the world, to meet important and well-known figures. Some of them only want to write articles about showbiz people, those handsome men guys beautiful girls, you know. I can say that their aspiration is pure and nice. However, they then fail to turn their dreams into reality, for they only see the tip of the iceberg in this career. For example, all journalism students want to enroll in the television program; every television student wants to be an MC; all those who work in the press sector want to travel here and there, at least to show off to others on Facebook that they have chance to travel and meet important people. I think it’s much nonsense and mundane, though it is also much human. However, for those that can only see the tip of the iceberg in that way, the job will never choose them; the job will leave them in the end. Therefore, it’s an illusion to say that people can choose their jobs. It must be the other way around and a person chosen by a job must meet the job’s requirements not only in the immediate but also in the long run.

vQE5A1SvMZBv6GMXD3tJ0Vj3E6QYjwCiHVrQ pX XlIDo Doan Hoang
Born: January 1, 1976
Place of birth: Mong Phu, Duong Lam, Son Tay, Hanoi
Present workplace: Investigation Report Section, Lao dong (Labor) Newspaper
Publications and achievements:
- 23 printed books; winner of National Press Awards for 4 times and more than 20 other awards
- Winner of the Best Journalist Awards for Investigation on Prevention of Wildlife Poaching and Trade (presented by the Education for Nature - Vietnam, the US Agency for International Development, and the Freeland Foundation in 2015)
- Hero of environment protection (presented by VTV2 Channel of the Vietnam Television in 2014)
- Second prize in the Short story competition of the Tuoi tre (Youth) Newspaper in 2009

+ So, what are the criteria for a journalist, do you think?

- I think journalism requires something like an innate aptitude. Yes, it surely is! Besides, a journalist must have passion and the ability to keep that fire of passion burning. A journalist has to foster his/her passion, not by something like the castle in the air or something in the dreamland, but by something really scientific. I’ve seen that some journalists emerged quickly for one year or two, and then disappeared without traces. I really feel sorry for those people. Journalism requires knowledge, experience and strong determination. Besides a burning heart, a journalist must have a strong will. As for the realm of literature, you may compose just a single poem and then compose no more. People still call you a poet. It is not the same for journalism. What make a journalist are his/her press works. The stature of a journalist is not measured by the number of his/her works, but also the works’ vitality and longevity, his/her personality in the press society, his/her everyday spoken and written words used in the press works. The press works or groups of press works reflect the personality of a journalist. Therefore, it may be possible for a poet to compose just one work of his/her life, but it is almost impossible for a journalist to have a work of a life-time. In other words, it is rare for a journalist to have a work of a life-time. He/She must demonstrate a press personality and a stature of a journalist for long-term creativity. Each press work and each period of press creation will form a journalist. People often talk about a journalist via his/her groups of press works, way of carrying out his/her job, his/her statements on the job, and specific contributions, the whole television format that he/she’s been pursuing for years, the whole development of a newspaper, or the press genre that he/she’s been pursuing with both a lot of efforts and even blood. He/She even has to go abroad to learn more about how overseas journalists do the job or has to carefully study press works from other countries. In short, it is a continual flow, not just a single or a single group of reportages, snapshots, articles to be printed in a book.

+ You once wrote short stories, which I think are… quite good (smiling). I really like your book “Naïve bun of pine leaves.” This book could be called an autobiography with literary values, very dynamic and full of emotion. I can see one Do Doan Hoang of literature there. Have you ever thought that someday you will set aside a little time for literature? What do you feel for literature?

- I am the one to leave literature myself. That is because I’ve never heard that literature leaves me. I was born into a family of literature and I have big love for literature, though I don’t know whether literature chooses me or not. My father is a writer. My younger brother is a poet (Do Doan Hoang’s father is writer Do Doan Quat and his younger brother is poet Do Doan Phuong – note by interviewer). I’ve left literature for long. I feel that I am a person of literature, but literature has never considered me its person. My first literary work is Moonlit little lane printed on the Tan Vien Son magazine. The work is now still mentioned by some people. My father told me that it is my most poetic work. After that, I wrote the book Naïve bun of pine leaves that you’ve just mentioned. I wrote it in a natural and spontaneous way, just like an autobiography, or a memoir. I didn’t have time to build a structure for the book or change the names of the characters and places… One of the students reached the place where I wrote the book and she was very surprised to find that nearly all that I wrote is true. Ninety nine per cent of the book’s content is true; 1% may be not true, not because I made it up, but due to the mist of memory. That is to say even for that “literary book,” as you said, I still don’t know whether it is a literary work or not. I think if a person has something literary in him/her, then it is still there. If he/she does not have that aptitude, then it must be ridiculous to pretend to be that way. I really don’t have time to polish my writing in a literary way. Therefore, I’d better leave it. It was not very easy, though. I have kept the habit of following what’s been written by friends of my time in the literary circle. I have tried to rewrite many times, but failed to do that due to the fact that I am still busy with too many other things. I still believe that I will come back to literature one day, however. I will include what I experienced and generalized after years of working as a journalist.

Literature is influential and long-lasting. However, I believe that when a press work has literary values and fighting nature, meaningful to the community or telling about someone of the era, it will also be long-lasting. It is not true to say that I leave journalism to come back to literature due to the long-lasting nature, higher vitality and stature of literature. I can still reach those targets working in the journalism sector. I mean genres do not define anything. Only those who consider literature their Holy Land say it that way. I don’t object them, but deep down inside I think the way I’ve just said. That is because what’s important is what you say, not what genre it is. I like what writer Trung Trung Dinh once said, “Soulful journal articles holding the breath of life in them, significant to this life, considered the measure of journalists’ dignity are more precious than the kind of forced literature.” Therefore, I don’t want to undertake these two hard jobs at the same time. From the bottom of my heart, I always think that it is not sure whether literature has one place for me. Therefore, I take time gradually looking on until I find a place for me to enter the realm of literature.

+ I’ve heard you made a bit of satire at yourself some time, somewhere that you are at the same time Don Quixote (a character in a story of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes), Ah Q (in a story by Chinese writer Lu Xun), and Chi Pheo (in a story of Vietnamese writer Nam Cao). I myself think you are closest to Don Quixote. You’re fighting with things that outsiders like me think that you may spend all your life of a journalist without knowing whether you can reach the final victory or not. However, you’re still charging forward; for example, the fight against those craving for rhino horns, tiger bone glue, and lion bone glue, etc. in Vietnam. You even traveled to Africa, seeing in person those rhinos being killed for their horns. Then you undertook the mission yourself to be the one to promote the dissemination of information that rhino horns are no difference from buffalo or cow horns to the Vietnamese people. However hard your job was, people still hunt for rhino horns and the horns are still very expensive in its own shadow market. What do you think about this?

- Actually, I always think that I have a little illusion like Don Quixote and my bedside book is The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. As you’ve said, Chi Pheo, plus Don Quixote and Ah Q make me. I think that a man needs a little strength and also some adventure. However, he also needs some romance, subtlety and the courage to overcome mundane daily practices to maintain belief in what he’s pursuing.

In fact, I am not Don Quixote in the way you’ve said. I didn’t fight blindly without knowing whether I could win or not. For example, we fought for years against the issue unsafe food. Though food is still unsafe some time and somewhere, there has been much improvement in food hygiene and you must be very subtle to notice the change. We filmed the vegetables growing instantly in just minutes and made it public, so now they don’t dare to grow vegetables that way, or they just do it sneakily. It means we won over the fight. It is very hard for journalists to do the investigation now, for those people are doing it secretly and sneakily. It can be said that we won 80% of the fight. We cannot have 100% safe food as in the United States or European countries. No way! We still have to act, but in a smart way. Never should we fight the windmills, spending our youth and strength pointlessly.

The same thing applies to illegal logging. I took the lead. I am one of the founding members of the forum for Vietnamese environment journalists. I traveled to a lot of countries with the topic of environment. I am proud that those governments invited me to their countries for that. However, illegal logging still occurs in Vietnam. So what? Is it pointless for our fighting? No! There was time when we found forests destroyed every time we came to a mountainous province. Those days, traveling in the afternoon, breathing in the fragrance of wood, I emotionally wrote that the fragrance is “like the incense seeing off forests to the eternal resting place.” Illegal tree loggers were found everywhere; even commune officials also joined the illegal act. In Yen Bai province, they even erected barriers by tying a stone to a log of wood. The barrier looked like a fishing rod. Each truck traveled past the barrier had to pay several million VND because all the trucks carried fokienia hodginsii wood logs. Local people erected the barriers themselves spontaneously, for they knew that the wood was illegally logged and the truck drivers dared not ask for the decision to establish the barriers. Those gangs built the barriers and raked in tons of money. They did it blatantly and in the public those days. We went to fokienia hodginsii markets in Yen Bai. We witnessed the brutal deforestation in the Central Highlands. Now forests are still being destroyed, right? However, as a matter of fact, illegal loggers cut down trees sneakily, not public and blatantly as before. A reporter may travel for three days in the forest now without finding illegal logging activities. The rate of illegal logging decreased significantly and loggers are now afraid of the press and authorities.

In the struggle for the protection of wildlife animals, I received top awards of various organizations in the world and Vietnam for an investigation journalist fighting against the illegal trafficking of wildlife animals and destruction of the nature. I received the award, proud to say. However, you may say that this illegal act has yet to be stopped. I have to say that now Vietnamese people don’t dare to use rhino horns publicly or show off specimens of tigers, bears or rhinos any more. They all now do it secretly. Previously, a phone call was all you need and they would bring a tiger to your house to make tiger bone glue. Now they have to do it discreetly. The rate of that illegal act also reduced significantly, for the criminal code now devises strict measures. Those who violate may have to go to jail or pay a fine of multiple billion VND.

Ten years ago, we bravely told everyone in Vietnam not to use bear gall. Bear gall actually has no medicinal properties on people’s health, except for massaging pains. At that time, hundreds of bears were kept in Quang Ninh and a lot of Chinese and Korean visitors flocked to those sites. Journalists had to secretly filmed the sites to make denunciation and dismiss those bear camps. We had to make analysis to come to the conclusion that taking bear gull is even harmful to health as the bears were raised and injected and developed diseases in dirty a living environment. Those bears were like prisoners, half-dead already. Now almost all Vietnamese people refused to take bear gall. Therefore, I believe that if we analyze and present our ideas correctly and with all our hearts, people will listen and follow what is right. There have been people going bankrupt for buying rhino horns to cure diseases. In fact, African people have injected poisons into rhino horns to prevent poaching. The point is Asian people take the African poisons. We returned and brought with us the interviews about those facts. Those things showed transparency and we had our own genuine and strong belief. We believed that we would reach victory and won the fight in reality. I am really afraid of being captured in a delusion; therefore, I am always clear in everything.

In fact, the society needs pioneers. Pioneers are always considered delusive and grandiloquent. However, people will understand in the end. We don’t want to become blind. It means we must act and place us in danger, ready for confrontation and with sense of responsibility, for the community. If all of us were too much cautious, stayed idle and remained helpless and thought that why we should fight, then no one would do anything. I like those who take the lead and I am always fierce in acting. Certainly I try to avoid being blind in acting.

Forty three years old, having composed various works collected in 23 books, including short stories, medium-length stories, especially reportages, and a huge lot of field-data collected from various localities, Do Doan Hoang has yet to show any sign of tiredness. For me, he is young of course. He also shows no sign of repetition of himself. The black pick-up truck of his is still full of gas. His pen is full of ink. His knees are still strong. His feet can still make steady steps. The desire for traveling is still burning in his veins. He still has a long life to go and strong passion to follow. I believe that Hoang has yet to fully tap his internal power when advancing in his chosen path.​
+ What you’ve said is totally convincing. Actually, I didn’t mean that I haven’t seen the strong and positive effects of what you’ve done on the society. I only want to hear you generalize clearly the things you’ve done. Also on this topic, I remember reading a comment on Lao Dong Newspaper under your reportage about the illegal forest logging in the Central Highlands, which reads, “Don’t forget to inform the readership of the results of this case.” Are there cases that you and your colleagues uncovered that have yet to be dealt with thoroughly? How do you feel when you spent a lot of efforts on the investigation and then it was like “Nothing changes”?

- I really uneasy about that. In practice, there are quite a few reporters and journalists who take royalties and fees, write an article and consider that’s all for their responsibility towards the newspaper and the society. They don’t care whether people will read their articles. In case some people read their articles, they also know nothing about what the readers think. Also, in case their articles uncover some shortcomings, they have never raised the questions such as How will the shortcomings develop? Who should be responsible for those shortcomings? What did the authorities do about them? and Do the death of forests and the death of victims bring any lessons for life or for protection of life? Never have they raised those questions. However, what I really want to say here is that even press works by wholehearted journalists may still fall into oblivion as you said. There were times when we spent tens of million dongs on the investigation, were chased and threatened to be killed and falsely accused of a lot of bad things online, etc. Even the responsible investigation authorities said rubbish things when they couldn’t do anything about the cases. We investigated food safety cases, brought the samples to the Ministry of Health to test. The ministry charged us for the tests, considering us normal customers. No one took responsibility for that shared issue. We still tried our best to do the investigation. We made the denunciation. Then no one could reject the denunciation, but at the same time no one took the responsibility to deal with the issue. Ten years after those cases, our hair has turned gray. Now we came back to the ministry, they still do the same; those same tricks. The only difference is that they know how to shun journalists, threaten journalists and are better at beating journalists and fooling the authorities. They say to us, without hesitation, who they have to send “gifts” to in order to do their illegal jobs for those years. They say to us that the food they eat is safe and the food they sell is not. We see that what we did, sacrificing our youth, money, even our lives for, is pointless as you said. So whose responsibility is that? We showed all the documents we collected, but no one solved the problem. That’s the responsibility of the authorities, but don’t rely on that to say that journalists should do nothing. If all of us did nothing, then who would save the society from evils? Journalists need to follow issues in the society and place the issue on the tables of relevant authorities.

Some officials even told me that this issue may affect their political life and their positions. That is because if they don’t deal with problems with denunciation as such, their images in the mass, their higher levels, and the press will be bad. There were cases of child sexual abuse and child trafficking, leaving sharp pains in our hearts. I think those children are like our sons, our daughters. They are innocent to all the bitterness of the society. Therefore, we fought the cases; we sent documents to the National Assembly (NA), to the Director of the Hanoi Police Department, to NA deputies, dignities in the community and those who often delivered their speeches in front of the public. We met leaders of the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Justice, and international organizations, joined hands in holding conferences and sent the issue to the NA, proposing that the Permanent Committee of the NA should discuss and make changes to laws, etc. Yes, there were cases that we did that way. I believe that journalists can do those things if they are highly determined. Without resolve, they cannot.

+ The more I listen to you, the more I find that journalism requires a lot of qualities and tireless efforts. So, what have you received and lost for the last 24 years working as a journalist. If you had a chance to choose, would you walk the same path that you chose more than 20 years ago? Do you think you would choose differently?

- I have earned a lot of things in terms of material life, honor and prestige in the society. I once worked too much in the television sector that my mother got used to the situation when she and I went to the airports or coach stations, people got to me and shook hands with me to express their love. That’s the thing that I’ve earned, not because I am avid for fame, but because I respect the acknowledgement from the public for my efforts. In exchange, I had to spend all my time on it.

Of course I am relatively free. In my office, I am a special journalist. The nameplate in meetings in my office reads “Do Doan Hoang – special journalist.” I may attend meetings or not; I may choose go to my office every day or not. However, I have to make a lot of efforts. I am ready to go to the most dangerous places and engage myself in the most difficult cases. That’s also interesting to me. I had a chance to reconsider, I would still choose to do so, with all what I’ve lost and what I earned, even for those things I had to shed my blood. In the four biggest cases that I was engaged in, I had to report to the police, for those bad people threatened to kill me, beat me; in one case, I was even beaten already and had to be hospitalized in an emergency. Now I would still choose to investigate those cases if I had a chance to rethink. That is because I think the responsibility for investigating those cases has been laid on my shoulders already, only that I would be more careful to avoid being beaten, of course.

This journalist job has taken away too much of my time and safety. I had to sell my house to stay safe. I had to absolutely keep silent when some people intentionally smeared my reputation, even when I had to shed my blood already. It hurts when some of them are my colleagues. I had to think all the time that my children may be attacked any time. I had to buy them the best helmets and asked them to wear if not traveling by car. I still don’t know why I survived after all those attacks. Each time I see the photos in which I was beaten printed on newspapers, I still felt frightened and can hardly sleep. That is to say I lost part of my health. One more thing that I lost should be mentioned is that as I know too much, my belief deteriorates and I cannot live unaffectedly.

+ I still see that you are unaffected (smiling); unaffected, romantic and dreamy. Reading your articles, I still find Do Doan Hoang those days, one Do Doan Hoang in the “Naïve bun of pine leaves” when you were still called “little Hoang” by your grandmother. Now my question is why do you keep “running” everywhere when colleagues of your same age are now leaders of press agencies or at least editors staying in the office, feeling no tiredness? You will “travel to the end” and “investigate till the end” to when?

- Of course I may choose to stay in the office to be without tiredness as you said, but I think I cannot do that at this time. Maybe I will travel and write as long as I can. However, I don’t know how long I can keep doing that. That is because my health has been affected too much after all those years charging forwards tirelessly. I could walk for weeks in the forest, drive my car for months and get to the most dangerous places, even places contaminated with chemicals. I reached that highest place on the Himalayas that humankind can reach with a car. I traveled to the most remote countries in the world that few people know, to highest mounts of the world… I would still choose to do so if I had a second chance, for I chose to do so at the time I thought I am smartest and with high desire to get to those places. If not, then I could not have done that. Therefore, I accept a little loss of my health. I think if I hadn’t gone there, then the extended part of life that I live for not going there is pointless. I am not sure whether the long old age may bring me anything interesting. Those who charge forwards know the danger, but they still choose to do that because it has its own price, fun and meaning for each life in this world as well as for the society.

There are things for a journalist to devote their efforts and talent. First, they have chance to travel to different places to do this thing or another and take in more knowledge. Second, they can pass on their passion to their students, to the society and the public via their courage to charge forwards and experience. Journalists may choose to devote to life by their press works or their own images. When they become loved and respected by the public, their images help people believe in justice and experiences and lead a worthwhile life.

Nha bao Do Doan Hoang o Chau Phi
Do Doan Hoang in Africa
+ Actually, you are the first one to let me understand clearly the fact that journalists not only devote to the society via their works but also have their influence on the society by their own images. Sorry for my curiosity, but I see that you’ve been typing on your laptop since the start of this conversation. Are you taking note of this conversation?

- Oh, no. I never take note of a conversation, especially in front of a woman like this. I am sorry for typing like that, but it’s because I am too busy. I always do more than one things at the same time. You may never know that when you are recording my answers, I am also doing the same thing. I do that not because I want to check whether you quote my words correctly later, as officials and businesspeople often do. I don’t doubt anyone. My strongest point and also weakness is being credulous. I record the conversation in case there were problems with your tape-recorder, such as insufficient memory, incoming messages or calls that could stop the recording, or in case you failed to control your recording. In short, I am afraid that you might be upset when you could not have this recording and I have to do the recording again with you. If I did not accept to do the conversation again with you (as an unprofessional interviewer in that case), then I would waste my conversation today and told all my stories pointlessly. I mean I am professional, but still very prudent. One of my lectures is that you should never place all your trust in just one camera or one tape-recorder when doing your job.

+ You made me so much amused. I am not that unprofessional. Anyway, thank you for your prudence. It is said that journalism is a dangerous occupation. I can see it clearly from you. However, reading your articles I see that the more dangerous the cases are, the more excited you get. Have you ever felt exhausted and wanted to let go? If so, then what have brought you back and helped you recover?

- I think it is understandable for a journalist or a combatant to get more excited when facing more danger. It is reasonable, but I never like danger. If you had ever been hit like me, you would understand how near death was. If you had once been tortured like me, by being cut in the flesh, having the index finger nail pulled out, having the bone pulled out without being anaesthetized, you would truly feel how painful it would be. I still remember the words that that doctor told me: “This is the most painful injection in your life. I’m sure.” Then he injected into my index finger, saying that there was a group of nerves inside the tip of my index finger and it was going to be very painful. And it was truly horribly painful! I am afraid of pain and danger very much. When you experience it, you’ll learn how to fear it. However, fear doesn’t mean quitting.

+ Everyone is afraid of pain. I am also afraid of it. Therefore, what are the most important skills for a journalist to minimize the possibility to be caught in pain?

- The most important thing to a journalist is the skill to play others’ role. It doesn't mean you have to change your clothes like the commando force, but to know what to do in this or that case as a journalist. And you need to image what the subjects are doing. You place yourself in their roles to think, understand and find an essential point to charge forward. After that you need to analyze different moves for each case. I think that is the most difficult thing and needs competence the most to win. However, the important lesson here is prudence, just like driving a car and teaching children, in which no one can claim to be excellent at. A person who investigates a case needs to be experienced and psychologically understand different types of people in the society. He/She must have a strategy and must be prudent and highly determined.

+ Reading your books, I learnt that you’ve been to tens of countries and territories. What benefits does it bring to a journalist like you, except for articles you wrote that make everyone want to “pack up things and travel”?

- Having chance to go to various countries and territories is my biggest happiness. I like the saying of scholar Le Quy Don quoted from the “Van dai loai ngu” (Classified discourse from the library) book, which reads, “If I hadn’t read 3,000 books and hadn’t gone to places to admire grandiose landscapes, then I wouldn’t be able to write.” I also admire writer Nguyen Tuan for his traveling hobby. And just like an imitation, I have been traveling and traveling non-stop. By 2000, I had traveled all 63  provinces and cities of Vietnam. Then I traveled to many other countries in the world. I just traveled. The trips brought me more than just some lines in a book or on newspapers. I wrote about my trips all spontaneously. After a trip, when I was full of feelings and emotions and my newspaper was in need of an article, I wrote. I don’t like writing to make a boast of where to travel to, what to eat and who to meet. Writing that way doesn’t bring us anywhere. I want to experience, research, dwell deeply into the history and then compare. I always think about Vietnam whenever I travel. I came to learn that “traveling far is for thinking near!” As an idiom goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” The more I travel, the more deeply I understand that idiom. Therefore, I wrote my articles on that basis and hope that I am different from other journalists in that way of writing. Traveling more or less is not important. It is the meaning, what the soul can learn, and what lingers on in my works that matter.

+ On the occasion of June 21 (Vietnamese revolutionary press day), let me be a Buddha (in the Vietnamese culture, a Buddha is the one to bring good things and wishes). Let me ask this question: If you had a wish, what would you do?

- If I had a wish from the Van nghe quan doi’s Buddha, I would wish that I would have more wishes (smiling). For example, I would wish health, wealth, and chances to travel to all the countries in the world. It would be best for me to travel the world with my parents or children. It means they must be healthy enough, smart enough and peaceful to accompany me along all those trips. I also wish to become younger, healthy enough to take the lead, to be a pioneer. Apart from that, I would also have a most unreasonable wish. That is each day passing by would not be a step for us to old age and death, making life long for a human; therefore, it should be a day to live healthily and kindheartedly. Anyway, life is still too short and old age is coming fast on us, so it is more convincing for us to live kindheartedly and quickly, only that living quickly doesn’t mean living an unhealthy and indecent life.

+ I strongly believe that you are and will be taking the lead in more cases. I also believe that you will live quickly, but not indecently and unhealthily (smiling). I wish you health, full of passion and inspiration, being the one to pass on the fire of passion to young journalists. Thank you for spending time with us!

Traslated by BUI HUU DUONG

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Tôi viết truyện ngắn Ngôi nhà xưa bên suối trong khoảng thời gian gần một tháng, là thời gian kí ức thì gần cả cuộc đời. Không chỉ với ai theo nghiệp văn chương, khi có tuổi hình như con người ta hay sống với hoài niệm. Đời buồn, vui ai chẳng từng, nhưng dù thế nào cũng đều thành vốn sống, chắp cánh ước mơ, hay giúp an ủi lòng mỗi khi cô quạnh. (CAO DUY SƠN)

Cám ơn anh bán giày

Cám ơn anh bán giày

Thực tế, bọn bán sách tránh xa bọn bán giày, vì không cùng “phân khúc thị trường”. Nhưng hề gì? Làm nhà văn thật sướng, nhặt anh bán sách nhét vào cạnh anh bán giày, thế là thành truyện. Gì chứ nghề bán sách mình có đầy kinh nghiệm... (TÔ HẢI VÂN)

“Con mắt còn có đuôi” của “tình già” hư cấu hay sự thật?

“Con mắt còn có đuôi” của “tình...

Hơn mười năm trước, có người hỏi tôi: Có bao nhiêu sự thật trong bài thơ Tình già của Phan Khôi? Câu hỏi đó đã theo tôi trong suốt một thời gian dài. (PHAN NAM SINH)

Napoléon và tấn bi kịch của quyền lực

Napoléon và tấn bi kịch của quyền...

Mối tình đầu của Napoléon (nguyên tác tiếng Pháp Désirée) là một trong số tác phẩm bán chạy nhất của Annemarie Selinko (1914-1986), tiểu thuyết gia người Áo. (NGUYỄN VĂN HÙNG)

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