"The Tale of Kieu" by Huynh Sanh            Thong

The Tale of Kieu A Bilingual Edition of Nguyen Du's Truyen Kieu Huynh Sanh Thong

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
10 Sep 1987
ISBN:
9780300040517
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
216 pages: 210 x 140mm
Sales territories:
world

Since its publication in the early nineteenth century, this long narrative poem has stood unchallenged as the supreme masterpiece of Vietnamese literature. Thông’s new and absorbingly readable translation (on pages facing the Vietnamese text) is illuminated by notes that give comparative passages from the Chinese novel on which the poem was based, details on Chinese allusions, and literal translations with background information explaining Vietnamese proverbs and folk sayings.
 

"This English version of Vietnam’s national poem will contribute to a better understanding of the people of Vietnam and of their traumatic experience in death and war, in exodus and separation."—Nguyen Dinh-Hoa, Washington Post Book World


"The Tale of Kieu occupies a very special place in Vietnamese literature… Thông should be commended for a very close rendering of the original. His understanding of the Vietnamese language, its subtleties, and its nuances apparently has no equal."—Truong Buu Lam, Journal of Asian Studies


"Near perfect. . . . Should be read by those who want to know the heart and mind of the Vietnamese people."—Tran Van Dinh, Asia


"The new notes add immensely to the richness of the translation, allowing the careful reader a detailed glimpse into the author’s world of literary images and deepening one’s appreciation for his subtle skill of expression. Anyone seeking to understand the Vietnamese people, their cultural outlook and mentality, can profitably begin with this book."—K. W. Taylor, JSEAS (Singapore)


"Of great interest to both scholars and admirers of Vietnamese culture. . . . Kieu's undying love endears herself to the Vietnamese, and poet Du is eulogized for creating a figure of pathos with whom the nation can identify. Kieu symbolizes feminine beauty and innocence; her tragic fate mirrors Vietnam's."—Nguyen Ngoc Bich, Asiaweek


"This 3,254-line narrative poem is the national cultural treasure of Vietnam—the equivalent of Shakespeare, Chaucer, the Holy Bible and Bartlett's Quotations rolled into one. . . . No one with a pretense of serious interest in Vietnam can afford to be ignorant of this work."—Indochina Quarterly


"Huynh Sanh Thông’s splendidly controlled blank verse is as close a representation as one could ask for of the concise, tightly balanced, epigrammatic quality of the original poem; and his marvelously thorough notes and introductory material plus the bilingual text make this edition a continuous joy to use."—Eric Henry, University of North Carolina