Maik Cây is a writer. she lives and breathes in a stuffy basement filled with word inlays. Constantly lost in the forest of signs, s/he constructs dialogues and their ghosts on the page in an attempt to find a credible path to personal salvation.
Maik Cây makes film, writes and ponders in the light and sleeps in the dark, or vice versa, in the shadow of the basement. Her first book, published in 2018, was entitled "Wittgenstein of Black Paradise.
“Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan”
Out of your mother’s vagina and into the whirling world – you were born, then you lived for a while – floated along or sank down the river of life, and then you died. At irregular intervals in between, you wrote. You wrote because you were insane, obsessed, inspired, unconventional or ill; because you were driven mad and depressed by an inner monster or eaten up inside by the ghost of your past; because you had to bear with the humdrum and mundane long/loong/looong days of your life. Writing was everything; writing was nothing; writing was something, or somewhere, or someone; writing was your Epiphany and your Excrement. What mattered was you wrote. I wrote.
When I wrote Wittgenstein of black paradise, I imagined myself as a blind fish swimming in the shadow of a dark ocean – the shadow that carries both the decadence and stoicism of life, the exultation and torment of being granted and being punished with the gift of life. Musing over that shadow in the imagination of an alternative world was my humble effort to emancipate my own reflections and interpret the worlds besetting me.
an excerpt from Wittgenstein of black paradise / Wittgenstein của thiên đường đen, English translation by Nguyễn Hoàng Quyên
The sperm whale was washed ashore a few weeks ago, in a secluded bayside, as if it was intentionally looking for a quiet place to rest and not be disturbed, even after death. We sneaked into a mansion on the hill to steal books, and from the large window in the living room I saw it, the king of the sea lying gloomily in the dark afternoon. Our king - it was hard to think of him as a dead being, or maybe I didn’t want to believe it. A nearly 20-meter-long body with a square head full of scars, the whale was lying on the white sand with closed and gentle eyes, looking like a visitor resting after a long journey. We spent the morning wandering around the poor animal, examining it, sniffing it, taking pictures, and predicting when it would start to stink and explode. Soon, once death has reigned over helpless flesh.
What will happen at the end of the world? Which sorrowful birds will mourn this life, which drifting clouds will hang by the mountains, which flowers will blossom in the eyes of the blind fanatics, which God will fall under the endless folds of the silver sea?
I had a long deep sleep, waiting for this day, the day Lúk told me would be the end of the world. I neatly brush my hair, put on a cool blue shirt and wear my favorite shoes. While Lúk is still snoring, I stay in bed and listen to his collection of clocks ticking loudly, as if urging death to hurry and pick us up. I murmur the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī in my mouth, then laugh at myself.
Lúk wakes up as I am having Portishead moan on the record player. He snaps and removes the record, ignoring my objection and replacing it with a Debussy record. I miss our cat terribly, I miss Dad terribly, I miss Mom most terribly and already, I have started to miss the two of us.