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K© Nguyen The Linh

Re-Reading Truyện Kiều

Truyện Kiều is considered to be the most important work of Vietnamese literature. In appreciation of the translation into German and in veneration of the original and the poet Nguyen Du, the Goethe-Institut raised the question how this national treasure can be re-read today, how man and women of today identify with the depiction of the female character.

The Goethe-Institut organized a symposium. It approached the venerable literary heritage from two different angles: firstly, as a philological and historical appreciation of the work based on wide literary knowledge and traditional reading; secondly, as a reflection on women’s roles and situation today and on the contemporariness of the text. The symposium meant to liberate the text from a sacred reverence and path the way to a contemporary interpretation. 110 experts of different intellectual and artistic background convened. Eight impulse presentations set the impulses. These eight authors kindly re-edited their speeches to essays and ZZZREVIEW edited and published them. Thank you for this cooperation.


Biography of 8 authors

Tran Dinh Su is a literary critic, professor and doctor in Literary Theory, People’s Teacher, professor at the Vinh University of Education, the Hanoi National University of Education and other Universities in Vietnam. He is one of the leading literary theorists in Vietnam and had strongly contributed in changing the face of Vietnamese literature and criticism in the late twentieth century and early twentieth first century. In his research and teaching career he focused on two main areas: Vietnamese literature and research. In theory, he focused mainly on the field of poetics and narratology. Some research works have been published: The Time of Art in "The Tale of Kieu" and Artistic sensation of Nguyen Du (1981), Artistic view of Nguyen Du in The Tale of Kieu (1982), The Poetics of To Huu Poetry (1987), A number of issues in Medieval Vietnamese Literature (1998), The Poetics in the Tale of Kieu (2002).
Dang Hoang Ngan, a psychologist, lecturer in clinical psychology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University. She does research on topics such as: feeling control, feeling happiness, Buddhism in interference with psychological science. She works in the psychological development programs in health and teaching in Vietnam by ADEPASE (France), Santé Sans Frontière (France), WBI (Belgium). In addition, she is interested in performing analytical articles on daily social situations and on some film and literary products from a psychological perspective.
Hoang Minh Phuc received her M.F.A degree in Graphic Arts at the Vietnam University of Fine Arts in 2003, her doctor in Art Studies at the National Institute of Art and Culture in 2012. Hoang Minh Phuc is currently an art history lecturer at HCMC University of Fine Arts and as an artist practicing wood carvings. She has received numerous national awards for her art and research. Some published publications include: Vietnam Urban from Multidimensional Puzzle Pieces (World Publishing House, 2019) co-author, Fine Art Study 2017 - 2018, Modern Vietnam Woodcut Printing Graphic (Publisher World, 2015) and various art journals.
Bui Tran Phuong is an education manager, a scientific researcher, formerly the principal of Hoa Sen University. She graduated with a B.A degree in History from University of Paris I, France (1972), a Master degree from University of Paris VII, France (1994), an MBA degree from UBI (2003), successfully defended her doctoral thesis at the University of Lyon 2, France (2008). From 1975 to 1992, her research work focused on Vietnam's recent modern history. Since 1992 she has been working independently on cultural history and history of Vietnamese women. Her doctoral thesis is about: “Vietnam 1920 - 1945, Gender and Modernity: the Rise of New Perceptions and Experiences”.
Nguyen Khac Bao is Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Kieu Studies, Standing Member of the Executive Committee of Bac Ninh Province's Association of Literature and Arts, Member of the Vietnam Association of Oriental Medicine, Member of the Vietnam Association of Linguistics and Member of the Vietnamese Journalists Association. Up to now, he has collected 68 ancient Kieu texts in Sino-Nom language, including 17 manuscripts, and the 51 prints from different time periods. In addition, he has the biggest collection of different editions in modern Vietnamese language. After twenty years of diligently studying Truyện Kiều, he corrected 918 words in 701 sentences in the popular Kiều version of Đào Duy Anh from 1979 and proposed a Kiều version closest to the original. His suggestions and proposals were published in a book by Education Publishing House in August 2009.
Vu Duc Liem is a lecturer in History at Hanoi National University of Education and a PhD candidate at Hamburg University with a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He has published on early modern Vietnamese warfare, geopolitics, and political history. His recent publications include ‘Vietnam at the Khmer frontier: boundary politics, 1802-1847’, Crosscurrents (UC Berkeley, 2016); “The Age of Sea Falcons: Naval Warfare in Vietnam, 1771-1802,” in Warring Societies of Pre-Colonial Southeast Asia, eds., Kathryn Wellen and Michael Charney (Copenhagen: NIAS, 2017); and the forthcoming chapter, “Village Rebellion and Social Violence in Early Nineteenth-century Vietnam” in A Global History of Violence in the Early Modern World, eds. E. Charters, M. Houllemare, and P. H. Wilson (Manchester University Press).
Ngo Thi Thanh lives and works as an independent researcher in Hanoi. She devotes herself to writing, filming and conveying literature, art and cinema. She unfolds her creativity through critical writing, curating and independent film-making. Her main interest lie with: equality, aesthetics and politics.
Dinh Thi Nhung has been engaging with this series of "unstraight" projects in Myanmar, Serbia, Cambodia, Russia, and Vietnam from 2014 to the early 2017. In Hanoi, she was one of the head curators and organizers of "The Cabinet" an exhibition which was about the lives of Vietnamese queer communities. She is a founder and curator of Bàn Lộn -Vagina Talks- a public art and education project. Nhung co-organized Queer Forever Festival (QFF) 2013, QFF 2015 and series of Queer Market organized monthly at Nha San Collective in 2017. Nhung's latest exhibition of vagina arts named Lip Xinh was organized in the context of the Queer Forever Festival at the Nha san collective in 2017 and at the Nap Hostel in Ho chi minh city in April 2018. Currently Nhung focuses on her personal film project addressing topics like memories, gender, illness, loss and a photography project about nude Vietnamese men in nature.