Xie Ke banner

Writer's Spotlight: Xie Ke 谢克

 

Born in Singapore in 1931, the ancestry of Xie Ke <谢克>, whose actual name is Seah Khok Chua, could be traced to Chenghai, Guangdong. He began writing in the 1950s, publishing his short story collection For the Next Generation in 1954. His short story collections include Besieged CityScenes of Singapore, and The Return of Learning. His creative period spanned the campaign against “yellow culture” of the 1950s to the years of Singapore’s self-governance prior to independence in the 1960s; reflecting the social outlook and humanistic view of these pivotal times.

Xie will appear in the dialogue session Aftermath: Navigating post-war Singapore Society through Chinese Literature as part of Luminationon 4 Aug 2018. 

Besieged City (excerpt)
Besieged City, the title story of a short story collection, was first published on 29 November 1955

After that labour strike, management at the factory really hated him.

            One night, when he left the home of a colleague who was seriously ill, it was already past midnight. He walked home along the quiet red dirt road. The night breeze rustled a banana tree and brushed across his wrinkled face. 

            The lower portion of the moon was covered by clouds. Only the stars in the western stretch of the sky cast a ghostly glow on his head. 

            When he was just twenty feet from the door, under the coconut tree, suddenly–

            “Stop! Show me your identity card.”

            Shocked, he stopped and turned back.

            Suddenly, a heavy object fell onto his forehead, then dark shadows fled from behind the tree. 

            He screamed, covering his face with his hands. His body trembled, his feet went weak, and he fell to the ground. 

 

Poem translated from Chinese by Shelly Bryant

 

《困城》选段
《困城》收集在短篇小说集《困城》,出版于1955年11月29日 

      经过了那一次的工潮后,厂方非常痛恨他。

      一天晚上,他从一个病得严重的工友的家里走出来,已经是十二点多了。

      他沿着静谧的红泥路,踉踉跄跄地走回家。

      晚风掠过芭蕉树,一阵一阵地拂在他那张布满皱纹的脸上。

      下弦的月亮给云层盖住,只有西边的天空上那几颗星星,捉挟鬼似的在他的头顶上眨呀眨的。

      当他走到距离门口不上二十尺的椰树下时,突然———

            “站住,查居民证!”

      他吓了一跳,停住脚,折转身来。

      陡的,一根沉重的东西落在他的前额上,接着,几个黑影慌慌张张地从树后逃了开去。

            “哎呀———”

      他惨叫一声,双手掩着脸,身体摇了几摇,脚一软,整个人躺在地上。

 

Share This Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on Weibo




top

LEAVE US A MESSAGE



T: +65 6332 6900 / F: +65 6336 3021 / E: enquiries@artshouse.sg
1 Old Parliament Lane Singapore 179429