Thursday, November 26 2020


Old book exhibition reviews contemporary Vietnamese literature

Update: September, 08/2017 - 10:30
Old and rare books by famous authors of the 1920s and 1940s are on display at the HCM City Book Street on Nguyễn Văn Bình Street in District 1. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HCMCITY—  Dozens of old and rare books featuring Vietnamese history and culture in the 20th century  are on display at the HCM City Book Street on Nguyễn Văn Bình Street in District 1.

The books selected from collections by authors and collectors in Hà Nội and HCM City.  Each book represents a report on the country’s history, culture and lifestyle.    

Featured books are by authors Nguyễn Tuân, Ngô Tất Tố, Bùi Hiển and Phan Văn Hùm, who played a role in Vietnamese literature in the 1920s and 1940s.

Readers have enjoyed the first publication of Tuân’s Vang Bóng Một Thời (Echo and Shadow Upon a Time), printed on silk paper by the Tân Dân Publishing House in 1940. The book has Tuân’s signature on the title paper.

Other books of Tuân, including Thiếu Quê Hương (Without Homeland), published in the 1930s are also displayed.

Tuân was one of the nine biggest authors of contemporary Vietnamese literature. His writing style is creative and lively.

Born in Hà Nội, Tuân began his career in the early 1930s, but only gained public recognition from 1938 with several essays and reports such as Vang Bóng Một Thời, Một Chuyến Đi (A Journey) and Chữ Người Tử Tù (Penmanship of A Death Row Prisoner).

After the August Revolution in 1945, he joined the Communist Party and later became the chief secretary of Việt Nam Art & Literature Association.  

He was knowledgeable in painting, sculpture and theatre. His works are masterpieces that highlight the beauty of Vietnamese culture and language. He was awarded the Hồ Chí Minh Award for Art and Literature presented by the Government. Hà Nội has a street named after him.

One of the highlighted books is Lều Chõng (Heading for Royal Exam), a publication on (handmade paper made from the bark of tree) written by Confucianist, writer and reporter Tố.

The work features the lives of Vietnamese farmers under the feudal system and French colonialism in late 1930s. It was printed by Mai Lĩnh Publishing House in 1952.

The exhibition will include a forum on publications, hosted by cultural researcher and literature critic Vương Trí Nhàn on the closing day on September 10.   

A book auction to raise funds for charity will also be included. — VNS





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