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Vietnam’s concerted effort to keep control of its past

ThomasBass_DiepVienZ21_KeThuTuyetVoiCuaNuocMy[ndlr] Article de Thomas Bass sur la censure de son ouvrage The Spy Who Loved Us paru en vietnamien en RSVN sous le titre : Điệp viên Z21, Kẻ thù tuyệt vời của nước Mỹ.

Thomas A. Bass is an investigative reporter who teaches English and journalism at the State University of New York at Albany.

Five years ago I began an experiment — not of my own devising — to study censorship in Vietnam. In 2009, I signed a contract to publish one of my books in Hanoi. Called “The Spy Who Loved Us,” the book tells the story of Pham Xuan An, Vietnam’s most celebrated journalist during the Vietnam War. (He ended his career as bureau chief for Time magazine in Saigon.) Only after the war did we learn that An had received a dozen military medals as a communist spy and served as North Vietnam’s deadliest secret weapon.

One might think that a book about a “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” would be published in Vietnam without difficulty, but nothing is published in Vietnam without being censored. For five years, I watched people nip and tuck my book. When a translation was finally published in 2014, I flew to Hanoi to meet my censors — at least the half-dozen who would talk to me. These were the good guys, the brave ones, who were willing to acknowledge the situation. Behind them stood the faceless phalanx that operates throughout Vietnamese society.

My censors, several of whom doubled as my editors and publishers, apologized for what they had to do. They hoped things would improve in the future, but as Vietnam and China throw an increasing number of journalists, bloggers and other writers in prison, the tide is flowing in the opposite direction. This is why I decided to commission an accurate translation of my book and publish side-by-side editions of both the censored and uncensored versions. These texts were released online in November, with the international organization Index on Censorship releasing more material this week.

What did the censors cut from my book?

Lire la suite : The Washington Post, 01/02/2015.

Voir aussi la publication en ligne non censurée sur le site pro&contra de Pham Thi Hoai :