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Short stories (texts)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Night Flow
Date of publication: 06 February 2012
Description/subject: The short story Night Flow was published in Perfect magazine in 2008 in Burma and some of the sections were censored. Written during the notorious Saffron Revolution of 2007 in which many of the author's friends and students participated, Khet Mar was adamant about publishing this story in Burma and hoped her readers would discover and engage with the metaphors she created... Translated from the Burmese by Aung Aung Taik.
Author/creator: Khet Mar
Language: English
Source/publisher: Warscapes
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://warscapes.com
Date of entry/update: 15 May 2016

Title: Exitstory
Description/subject: Author's blog, containing his short stories, poems, translations and links to his work as a publisher for NDSP Books.
Author/creator: Myay Hmone Lwin
Language: English
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 May 2016

Individual Documents

Title: Selected Myanmar Short Stories
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: "Myanmar has a long and rich tradition of literature that is mostly unknown to the world, since few translations are available. The collection here is a small selection from the wide choice available to the Burmese-reading public. Due to lack of time on my part, I could not read the majority that was published; there are thousands more that deserve to be presented to international readers, both short stories and novels. I beg pardon from those whose works were left out and I hope that better writers than I will do more than I ever could... The structure and form of writing in English and Bamar (or Burmese, which is both the majority race and the official language) in which the original stories were written, are somewhat different. English in general is generally concise, whereas Burmese has a varied and at times flowery vocabulary. Some editing was necessary for the sake of clarity and for this I must ask forgiveness of the writers, since unlike in the publishing houses of the west we do not have a tradition of another person editing the author’s work... My appreciation goes to U Sonny Nyein of Swiftwind Books, for giving his permission to reprint most of these stories that first appeared in their quarterly publication “Enchanting Myanmar” and to U Harry Hpone Thant for putting up the stories on his website of the same name... My heartfelt thanks go to U Than Swe of Unity Books who first published these stores and especially for the group of wonderful artists, most of them not even graphic illustrators, who created the beautiful paintings for each story... I have chosen these stories partly because they cover a wide variety of human life: marriages like tongue and teeth; love beyond the grave; the anxiety of mothers; the kindness – and unkindness - of strangers; and the snares of enticement and greed... Mainly, I chose the stories for the spirit of the people of Myanmar they portrayed. Many people may not be rich but they live with contentment, humour, compassion and pride, in the face of grim reality. They are the real representatives of the country, the true treasures of Myanmar... Enjoy. ma thanegi 2008
Author/creator: Ma Thanegi (translator)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burmese Classic.com
Format/size: pdf (12MB)
Date of entry/update: 28 April 2016

Title: Just Desserts
Date of publication: April 2001
Description/subject: Translators note: The literal translation of the title of this story would be 'If you pull out a person's guts, his heart will feel immense pain' - that is, if you are viciously cruel to people they will feel such bitterness in their hearts that they will never forgive you. Although the events that have caused the old man in the story to be cast out by the villagers ostensibly occurred during the Japanese occupation in the 40s, most readers will easily draw parallels between his behavior and the behavior of the army and its ruling body, SLORC, during 1988-9, when this story was written. The author has succeeded in expressing the revulsion felt by vast numbers of ordinary Burmese towards the cruelty of the army, and indicates by the ending of the story her belief that those who choose to live by violence and cruelty can expect to die as violently as they live. The chosen companion of the old man is a tiger who turns on him, and in killing him, is itself killed. We can only assume that the censors failed to spot the subtext of this story, or else believed that it was sufficiently buried for them to let it through without being accused of incompetence."
Author/creator: Daw San San Nweh (trans. Anna J. Allott)
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Debate" VOL. VIII, NO. 1, SPRING 2001
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Zawgyi's Collected Short Stories
Date of publication: 1999
Description/subject: Contents: (1) Po Mar Din p. 15- 21 (2) Lover p. 22- 23 (3) Bagan Market p. 34- 42 (4) The venerable U Thawbita and Ko Khin p. 43- 49 (5) Pyigyibaryar p. 50- 102 (6) Aung Baw and four-eyed dog p. 103- 112 (7) Fiction from Nat pyay p. 113- 119 (8) The Bunch of Keys and Tattooed Nats p. 120- 129 (9) Thakhingyi Asked for a Boon p. 130- 137 (10) His Spouse p. 138- 148. These ten short stories were written by Zawgyi (U Thein Han. The author had an intimate knowledge of Myanmar social life and customs. His short stories clearly describe common life. "Fiction from Nat Pyay" was written around 1934 for the Rangoon College football team. The style of this fiction is humourous. "Bagan Market" is about a Bagan villager who easily solved the difficult problem posed by Chinese Emperor. Author stated that personal experiences are more important in real life. "Po Mar Din", "Thakhingyi asked for a boon", " Lover" are short stories giving character sketches. "Aung Baw and four-eyed Dog", " The Venerable U Thawbita and Ko Khin", "The Bunch of Keys and Tattooed Nats", "His Spouse " clearly illustrate human nature.....Subject Terms: 1. Myanmar fiction... 2. short stories
Author/creator: Zawgyi
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (Metadata: English and Burmese)
Source/publisher: "Yarpyi Book", No. 93, 1999, Lawka Sarpay, Yarpyi Publishing House, via University of Washington
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB-combined)
Alternate URLs: http://www.lib.washington.edu/myanmar/pdfs/ZG0016a.pdf (2.9MB)
http://www.lib.washington.edu/myanmar/pdfs/ZG0016b.pdf (2.7MB)
http://www.lib.washington.edu/myanmar/pdfs/ZG0016c.pdf (2.6MB)
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2014

Title: INKED OVER, RIPPED OUT: Burmese Storytellers and the Censors
Date of publication: September 1993
Description/subject: A PEN American Center Freedom-to-Write Report, with a preface to the Internet edition, July 2003... Here are two versions of Anna Allott's 1993 book: an html version without pagination and a Word version which seeks to retain the original format and pagination. Both versions contain the preface to the Internet edition. "The purpose of this publication on Burmese writing and Burmese censorship is to enable the work of certain Burmese authors, writing since the imposi­tion of military rule in 1988, to be read by a much wider audience than is usually the case, and also to show, through their own words (in translation), how they are continuing to find ways to express their true feelings about what is happening in their country in spite of the very strict and repressive system of censorship that exists there. Of necessity, in a country where no direct criticism of government policy or of individuals who hold positions of power is permitted, writing is fre­quently allusive or ironical, so much so that even Burmese readers not keyed into the clues may not appreciate the point of a piece, still less those Burmese who have been living abroad for some time, and still less the foreign reader. A writer in Burma has, therefore, a constant dilemma: he is never quite certain how far he dare go, for, if his criticisms or his protest or his satire is too obvious it will not be approved by the censors and will be forced to lie unpublished in his desk drawer. Worse still, it may even bring about his arrest. On the other hand, if the work is too veiled, or couched in too allegorical or symbolic language, the message he is trying to convey will not be understood. Hence, in this selection for the English reader, it is necessary to provide background information about the writers and the works that have been included in this selection, setting them in the context in which they were written. And this context can be understood only with reference to Burma's recent history, and the system of government control and censor­ship that has evolved during the last thirty years. The stories and poems selected for translation have been brought to my attention by a number of lovers of Burmese writing. Some of them have been identified by the readers as carrying a political message, often hidden to the casual reader or to anyone unaware of the issues being addressed in them. Where these pieces have been published in Burma, one assumes the censors either failed to spot the subtext, or if they did not fail, believed that it was sufficiently buried for them to let the pieces through safely, without being accused of being incompetent. Many of the writers featured here already have their works subjected to close scrutiny by the censors and are identified as being persons to watch. The publication of their works in English, together with my interpretations of their works, may result in their future writings being submitted to even greater scrutiny for hidden meanings. I can only apologize for further adding to their difficulties and stress that the allusions and hidden meanings that I have identified in these stories are drawn from my own interpretation, supported by discussions with other readers, and do not represent explana­tions by the writers themselves. Inevitably, the stories represent a very small part of all works written since 1988. They are untypical, in that the majority of pieces published in Burma today do not have any overt or hidden political message, as most works with even a hint of such messages are refused publication. The consequent trivialization of Burmese imaginative literature has been im­mensely discouraging to all serious and independent-minded writers. Some feel that they can now only produce work that is intrinsically without worth. Others have abandoned original writing and confine themselves instead to translating works from Western literature..."
Author/creator: Anna J. Allott
Language: English
Source/publisher: PEN American Center
Format/size: html (572k), Word (341K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/INKED-OVER.doc
Date of entry/update: 27 July 2003

Title: The secret of successful transfusion
Date of publication: 1991
Author/creator: Ma Thida, Translation Ohnmar Khin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Index on Censorship
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2016