Quand j’avais 7 ans, je restais souvent tout seule à la maison. Mon père a travaillé à l’étranger pendant une longue période. Alors, son absence me faisait oublier son visage. Ma mère aussi travaillait tous les jours. Chaque matin, elle était obligée de partir pour son travail. Et moi, je commençait à être triste dès son départ.
La maison avait cinq pièces. Il y avait trois chambres, une cuisine, et une salle de bain. Elle était située dans un lieu sombre alors, même pendant la journée, il y avait trop peu de lumière. Souvent je m’abritais dans la chambre de ma mère. Et j’attendais son retour.
Je fermais la porte de sa chambre après son départ. Et j’allumais la télé. La télé devint mon compagnon. Et je regardais la télé, mais mon attention était toujours derrière la porte consacré aux quatre pièces. Il ne fallait pas qu’il y ait du bruit. Car j’étais seule dans cette maison. Un simple son bizarre derrière la porte aurait pu être un cambrioleur ou un fantôme. J`avais peur et mon inquiétude avait un rapport avec mon imagination. je restais comme ça dans la chambre de ma mère. A midi, plus de chaîne de télé. Je regardais alors la télé après la fin de la programmation, l’image restait fixe: de couleur rouge, jaune, vert, bleu, blanc.... Dès que ma compagne devenait muette, le son de l’horloge finissait par devenir mon deuxième compagnon. Et je suivais alors, interminablement, le mouvement de son aiguille en analysant toujours le silence derrière la porte de la chambre de ma mère.
When I was 7 years old, I often remained quite alone at the house. My father worked abroad for a long period. Then, his absence made me forget his face. My mother also worked every day. Every morning, she was inescapable to leave for her work. And I began to be sad from her departure. The house had five rooms. There were three chambers, a kitchen, and a bathroom. It was situated in a dark place then, even during the day, there was too little light. I often stayed in the chamber of my mother. And I waited for her return. I closed the door of the chamber after her departure. And I turned on the TV. TV became my companion. And I watched TV, but my attention was always behind the door dedicated to four rooms. There should not have the noise, because I was alone in this house. Simple one bizarre sound behind the door would have been able to be a burglar or a ghost. I was afraid and my anxiety had a report with my imagination. I stayed like that in the chamber of my mother. At noon, there was no more TV channel. I then watched TV after the end of the programming, the image remained fixed: of red, yellow color, green, blue, white... As soon as my partner became dumb, the sound of the clock eventually became my second companion. And I followed then, endlessly, the movement of its needle always by analyzing the silence behind the door of the chamber of my mother.
Je lis rarement en public devant les gens. Quand je le fais, je finis par entendre vite le timbre de ma voix. Plutôt, je me concentre sur ma voix.
Puis, je me trompe dans la lecture et je commence à lire en bégayer.
Je déteste lire à haute voix devant les gens.
I rarely read in public in front of people. When I do it, I eventually hear fast the stamp of my voice. Rather, I concentrate on my voice.
Then, I make a mistake in the reading and I begin to read by stuttering.
I hate reading aloud in front of people.
J’entends les voix de mes oncles.
J’ entends la voix de ma mère.
J’entends la voix de mon père.
J’entends les voix de plus en plus haut.
J’entends les voix de plus en plus agressives.
J’entends les voix crier.
J’entends le son des pleurs de ma mère.
J’entends fortement le son de mon coeur.
je suis dans la boîte de l’enfer.
I hear the voices of my uncles.
I hear mother’s voice.
I hear father’s voice.
I hear the voices higher and higher.
I hear the more and more aggressive voices.
I hear the voices to shout.
I hear mother's crying.
I hear strongly my heart’s sound.
I am in a box of hell.
Moi, je n`ai jamais été dans un abri. j’étais toujours dans une boîte sonore.
I have never been in a shelter. I was always in a sound box.
Lors de mon premier séjour en France, mon français était catastrophique. J’étais très mal à l’aise quand je devais parler et j’avais beaucoup de mal quand j’entendais parler en français. J’ai vite ressenti comme un handicap. J’aurais pu presque m’identifier par mes sensations à un sourd muet.
A cette époque là, j’habitais à la cité universitaire. Dans une petite chambre où il y avait une lit, un bureau, un petit placard et un lavabo. La chambre était très mal isolée. Surtout la partie d’au dessous de la porte, qui présentait une fissure de presque trois cm d’espace. Je pouvais facilement entendre ce qui se passait derrière la porte. La nuit, toute personne allant aux toilettes ou allant se doucher, devait allumer la lumière dans le couloir et moi je pouvais ainsi regarder la lumière au dessous de ma porte et entendre le bruit de ses pas.
Une nuit de vendredi très tard, soudain je me suis réveillée avec un grand fracas. Je me suis aperçue que les gens faisaient comme la fête dans le couloir devant ma chambre. Je voulais vraiment demander de se calmer mais je ne savais pas comment il fallait le dire en français. Plutôt j’avais peur d’ouvrir la porte. Alors je me suis obligée à dormir malgré un grand bruit de rires, cris, chants, bouteilles, paroles étrangères... en regardant la lumière jaune qui entrait par dessous ma porte. En fait au milieu du bruit, au moment où les gens parlaient, j’ai eu la sensation qu’une parole était prononcée: “asiatique”. Cette nuit là, j’ai vraiment beaucoup imaginé à partir de ce mot.
During my first stay in France, my French was catastrophic. I felt very uncomfortable when I had to speak and I had difficulty when I heard in French. I fast felt like a handicap. I would have almost been able to become identified by my sensations with a deaf-mute. In this time there, I lived in the student halls of residence. In a small room where there was one bed, an office, a small cupboard, and a washbasin. The room was very badly isolated. Especially the part of below the door, which presented a crack of almost three cm of space. I could easily hear behind the door. At night, people who go to the toilet or go to take a shower had to turn on the light in the corridor and I could so look at the light below my door and hear the noise of its steps. One night on Friday very late, suddenly I woke up with a big crash. I noticed that people partied as in the corridor in front of my room. I really wanted to say to calm down but I did not know how to speak it in French. Rather, I was afraid of opening the door. Then I am inescapable to sleep in spite of loud noise of laughter, shouts, singing, bottles, foreign words by looking at the yellow light which entered by bottom my door. In fact in the middle of the noise, as people spoke, I had the sensation that a word was pronounced: "Asian". This night there, I really imagined many things from this word.
Je vois ce que j`entends, et j`entends ce que je vois.
I see what I hear, and I hear what I see.
When I was studying in France, I have lived for a long time where called Tarbes in the Midi-Pyrenees and there, Koreans were very rare. It was almost impossible to listen to Korean in public places. (The pronunciation is very similar when speaking in French between the vegetables called “coriander” which is used for rice noodles and when speaking of “Koreans” in French. They often put coriander in the cooking. At that time, I didn’t know the word of “coriander” in French, therefore “Why does this friend keep saying Koreans who do not fit in the context of the story while cooking?” and I used to imagine Infinitely.) Naturally, if there is anything to do with Korea, I paid attention. Now, almost three years have passed since I came to Korea, on the contrary, and now, I miss my life in France. In Korea, on the subway broadcasts announcements in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and English, and on the buses, France is a relative minority country and rarely receives broadcasts in French in public places in Korea. As I have never heard of Korean, as in the French region where I lived.
When I lived in France, Tarbes. I used to visit the store and I could often hear French radio in stores. I imagine while enjoying shopping at a French store, What if the voice of the Korean DJ and the Korean song are heard suddenly with the opening song of the familiar Korean radio broadcast? I imagined it. If I were all French except me, they will experience some unfamiliarity with this strange music and language in their own country and I will experience familiarity and nostalgia in this unfamiliar space.
The place to meet her was she’s house where she lived. I tapped more lightly on her worn and unlocked the little door. A pair of shoes was placed in front of she’s bedroom door through a narrow, dark passageway. She was lying on a single bed. At her bedside, there was a pouch of medication and scraps of paper spitting out sputum. The room was totally dark because of the light entering through the window weakly. The clock in the room indicated 16 hours. It was cloudy.
The television was on which broadcasting a wrestling match show as a tool to break the silence.
During the interview with her, she told me about her life. She had lung cancer and had surgery. Especially she’s breathing turned in my ear. Maybe it's her breathing that well reveals she’s life ...
“At that moment I heard a sharp cry, even though the building wall was very thick. It was from the other side of the wall. It had happened during lunch in the middle of the afternoon. To cover up the screaming, they parked two motorbikes by the street near the crematorium. They stepped on the clutch hard to have the noise from the engine hide the scream, but they failed. They tried, but it did not work. The screaming sound lasted for 15 to 20 minutes. It gradually grew weaker and then came to an end.”
- From the interview with a Polish political prisoner Józef Paczyński in the BBC documentary <Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution, Episode 2 Orders and Initiatives>
It was the summer of 2017. The food I bought for the street cats stinks. The cat food is made of chicken. Cats no longer go out to catch mice. Suddenly I encounter the very ordinary and mechanical, yet strange, fact that I have never heard the cries of the countless chickens, hogs, and cows I have eaten when they die.
A massive amount of euthanasia medicine is used for livestock that has to be buried alive due to foot-and-mouth disease or avian influenza. The sound of their screaming echoes until far into the night.
“Those who really know how to die are animals, not humans.
When people die, they die like animals.
Shall we go back to the cats. With all due respect, I have witnessed a very tiny cat dying. I saw it just as numerous people have. How the animal looks for a corner before it dies. If there is a territory for dying, there will be a search for that territory. They look for the territory where they can die. And this tiny cat was trying so hard to push itself into a corner. As if it was a suitable place to die ….”
- Interview with Claire Parnet in L’abécédaire by Gilles Deleuze
When this world that has been reduced from reacting to only a specific value goes up in delusion, then perhaps we will enter our most animal world.
The noble instinct of a dying animal.
The desperate instinct at the end of one’s life, heavily breathing in and out,
Like a flag waving in the wind that cannot be controlled.