Une petite source douce et tranquille

de Nguyën Huy Thiëp

Traduit du vietnamien par Kim Lefevre

Avec le soutien de la MAV


  • Pays d'origine : Vietnam
  • Titre original : Suôi nho êm diu
  • Date de traduction : 2001

La pièce

  • Genre : Comédie politique
  • Décors : Un bureau - Un écran de projection
  • Nombre de personnages :
    • 12 au total
    • 8 homme(s)
    • 4 femme(s)
  • Domaine : protégé : Mme Thuy Khuê



The play is set somewhere in a developing country of Asia, the day after a coup d'état that has brought the 'Goodness-Integrity-Sincerity' revolutionary party to power. There are 5 party members. They have no names, only numbers, and are led by Mr. 1, their supreme Guide, who declares: 'We will operate according to the conventional political model, but with a creative twist and an hint of western influence. It will be a meeting of West and East, a union between Old and New.' All the better if no-one realises that the real goal of the government is to do their utmost to fill people's minds with doubt and confusion. 15 years go by and Mr. 1 dies and is replaced by Mr. 2, who, fifteen years later, dies of a heart attack and is replaced by Mr. 3, who promises a period of peace and openness. Measures are put in place to eliminate individuals from the earliest age, replacing them with a new, completely empty citizen, who never thinks, feels or questions, a citizen 'paralyzed from top to bottom'.

Regard du traducteur

Despite the comical and at times burlesque nature of the play, Le Doux Murmure d'une Petite Source is doubtless Nguyên Huy Thiêp's most despairing work, portraying the depersonalisation of man, not only by a totalitarian state but by the demands of a market economy and money. However, Thiêp does not follow the Manichaean idea. His characters are capable of both base acts and noble feelings. Their views on society, power and life, and what they reveal about themselves, are cynical and cruel but always sincere. Although the work deals with the political climate in Vietnam, and although its characters are easily recognisable (Hô Chi Minh as Mr. 1), they have enough universal appeal to transcend any national borders.