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Epic poem sets new records

Update: November, 09/2015 - 16:02
The Tale of Kieu has set the maximum national records

HA NOI – The Vietnam Book of Records (Vietkings) proposed the Guinness world record to Truyen Kieu (The Tale of Kieu) in terms of a literature work with the maximum national records.

The Tale of Kieu is an epic poem in Vietnamese written by Nguyen Du (1766-1820), and is widely regarded as the most significant work of Vietnamese literature.

With 3,254 verses written in luc bat ("six-eight") meter, the poem recounts the life, trials and tribulations of Thuy Kiều, a beautiful and talented young woman, who has to sacrifice herself to save her family. To save her father and younger brother from prison, she agrees to marry a middle-aged man, not knowing that he is a pimp, and is forced into prostitution. Modern interpretations vary and some post-colonial writers have interpreted it as a critical, allegorical reflection on the rise of the Nguyễn Dynasty.

The masterpiece has been translated into more than 20 languages and is cherished for its creativity, independent thinking and distillation of Vietnamese culture. Nguyen Du was the first Vietnamese person to be honoured as a world cultural figure.

The work has just set five Vietnamese records - recognised by Vietkings and proposed by researcher Pham Dan Que – such as the ‘masterpiece that has made its author a world cultural figure; the only poetic story written not for telling fortunes but one that has actually created a phenomenon of fortune-telling; and a book that poses the maximum riddles. -- VNS

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