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Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Quiet American

Sumber: Wikipedia
The Quiet American membawa saya mengenali sebuah Vietnam yang kewujudannya tidak saya sedari selama ini.

Vietnam pra-Perang Vietnam.

Sebelum Amerika Syarikat tiba dan menghuru-harakan negara ini, Vietnam sudah pun berada di kancah peperangan. Perancis selaku penjajah diasak dari pelbagai arah oleh beberapa gerakan yang memperjuangkan kemerdekaan. Era yang tercatat dalam sejarah sebagai Perang Indochina.

Menurut entri Wikipedia novel ini (jaga-jaga, spoilers), Graham Greene pernah bertugas sebagai wartawan koresponden di Vietnam. Ada kemungkinan novel ini juga semi-autobiografikal kerana watak utamanya, Thomas Fowler, juga seorang wartawan dari England.

Ketika bertugas, Fowler, seperti Greene, bertemu dengan seorang warga Amerika yang membawa sebuah ideologi yang dikatakan boleh mengubah Vietnam. Alden Pyle, seorang pemuda yang idealistik dan pegawai khas kerajaan Amerika Syarikat, mencuri perhatian Fowler ketika mereka bertemu di awal cerita.

Pertemuan itu berubah menjadi satu perkenalan dan kemudian pertarungan, apabila Pyle mengenali Phoung, seorang wanita muda Vietnam yang merupakan teman hidup tidak sah Fowler. Pertarungan mereka berlaku secara ideologi, falsafah, pandangan hidup, pegangan keagamaan, dan nilai-nilai.

Hasrat Pyle untuk memperisterikan Phoung secara sah membuatkan Fowler mual. Perasaan itu bercambah kerana pelbagai sebab. Pyle seorang yang muda, cergas, taat beragama, berlatar belakang keluarga kelas pertengahan. Berbanding Fowler yang berusia separa abad, penganut agama mazhab Kristian yang mengharamkan penceraian, dan hidup makan gaji dengan melaporkan berita dari medan maut.

Tatkala saya hampir angkat tangan dan merumuskan yang novel ini satu lagi cerita lelaki berebut perempuan, ceritanya membelok ke satu simpang yang tidak diduga.

Sebelum Perang Vietnam meledak, sumbunya sudah pun dipasang oleh tangan-tangan tersembunyi. Atas nama perubahan dan keamanan.

Sumber: Haha! Funny! LOL!
Novel ini terbit pertama kali pada tahun 1955. Hari ini, lebih 50 tahun kemudian, cerita yang sama sedang berulang. Tetapi di sudut dunia yang lain, hanya disedari oleh mereka yang memerhati dengan teliti.

16 comments:

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sebab itu kalau pergi Sangon / Ho Chi Minh - diorang lagi fasih berbahasa inggeris.. tapi kalau pergi ke Hanoi, mereka sukar berbahasa inggeris tetapi mampu berbahasa perancis dengan baik. hihi

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