Viet Nam News
HÀ TĨNH — A Romanian version of the great epic poem by poet Nguyễn Du (1766–1820) has just been handed as a gift to the Nguyễn Du Memorial Centre in the central province of Hà Tĩnh.
The version was collected by Prof Lương Phương Hậu when he was doing his PhD in Bucharest, Romania.
Hậu was born in the central province of Nghệ An and used to work as a lecturer at the Hà Nội Civil Construction University.
The book measures 13x20cm, with 184 pages covering the full 3,254 verses of the poem and is printed with some illustrative paintings.
The book was published in 1967 by the Bucharest Literature Publishing House and was translated from the French version by Phạm Văn Vĩnh by Romanian translator Radu Moureanu.
Before The Tale of Kiều, the children’s story Dế Mèn Phiêu Lưu Ký (A Cricket’s Diary) by writer Tô Hoài had been translated into Romanian.
The centre has been storing versions of The Tale of Kiều in Russian, French, English, German, Spanish and some other languages.
The Tale of Kiều is an epic poem in Vietnamese written by Nguyễn Du, and is widely regarded as the most significant work of Vietnamese literature.
In 3,254 verses, written in lục bát ("six–eight") meter, the poem recounts the life, trials and tribulations of Thúy 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 sells herself into a marriage with a middle-aged man, not knowing that he is a pimp, and is forced into prostitution.
While modern interpretations vary, some post-colonial writers have interpreted it as a critical, allegorical reflection on the rise of the Nguyễn dysnasty. — VNS