Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — An anthology of legendary tales for children has sold out just one week after it was launched, on June 24.
Titled Lĩnh Nam Chích Quái, the collection, published by Kim Đồng Publishing House, includes 36 strange stories from the Hồng Bàng Era (assumed to be from 2879 BC) to the Trần Dynasty (1226-1400 AD).
These include the famous tales of Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ, believed to be the ancestors of Vietnamese people; a story about the arena nut tree, and another on Tản Viên Mountain, among others.
Originally, the collection of stories had been written in Han Chinese language by scholar Trần Thế Pháp from the Trần Dynasty. Over time, it was revised by various noted scholars such as Vũ Quỳnh and Kiều Phú. The collection is considered a masterpiece of ancient Vietnamese literature on history, traditional customs and behaviour in society.
This time, the anthology was translated by scholars Đinh Gia Khánh and Nguyễn Ngọc San, and has around 200 illustrations drawn by hand in the style of traditional wood block paintings by Tạ Huy Long.
Long is amazed that the book has already sold out and can’t explain the reason.
“I guess the book has good-quality printing,” he said.
Researcher Tô Lan from the Han-Nôm Research Centre said people find the book attractive because of the high quality of content and illustrations.
“Many people said it is a kind of legendary book for children, and there is no need for careful explanation,” Lan said. “The team that compiled it has put in a lot of effort and care about explanations.”
The book used research materials by scholar Quỳnh as well as the works of the translators Khánh and San. — VNS