First Vietnamese literature museum opens to public

Headstrong: A bust of poet Xuan Dieu (1916-85) sits next to a photo of poets Xuan Dieu and Huy Can (1919-2005) at the museum. — Photo thethaovanhoa.vn

Headstrong: A bust of poet Xuan Dieu (1916-85) sits next to a photo of poets Xuan Dieu and Huy Can (1919-2005) at the museum. — Photo thethaovanhoa.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — The first special area for displaying Vietnamese literary history has just been opened to people in downtown Ha Noi.

The 3,600sq.m area is housed in a three-storey building. The first floor has typical works representing literature from the 10th to the 19th centuries.

The works were written on various materials such as giay do (poonah) paper, cloth, metal and leaves. There are also works by great writers of the feudal period such as King Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), Nguyen Trai (1380-1442) and Nguyen Du (1766-1820).

Nguyen Du’s epic poem entitled Truyen Kieu (The Tale of Kieu) is on display, along with some of its foreign language translations.

The second floor features the works of writers of the early 20th century such as Phan Boi Chau (1867-1940), Tan Da (1889-1939) and Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), as well as noted writers who received the Ho Chi Minh Prize in Literature and Arts – the highest national prize of its kind – such as Phan Tu (1930-95), Nguyen Quang Sang (1932-2014) and Nguyen Khai (1930-2008).

The third floor is reserved for writers of the anti-French revolution period (1945-54).

Besides displaying draft outlines by the writers, and their utensils, photos, recorded voices and statues, the museum allows visitors to use modern computer software to search for more information.

Poet Huu Thinh, chairman of the Viet Nam Writers’ Association and director of the museum, said, “The museum is a place to recognise the efforts of great writers in writing their works and their creative ways. During the 10-year period when the museum was being constructed, we received untold contributions of objects and materials on great writers.”

Thinh said the museum possessed more than 40,000 objects and materials on 1,000 writers of the country, though the limited exhibition space allowed the display of only about 3,500 objects and materials.

In the past few years, the area has hosted various workshops on literature and international exchanges on the field.

The initiative of building such a museum was made in 1995, but its construction did not begin till 2004 due to various reasons, Nguyen Thanh Minh, deputy director of the museum, said.

The museum is located at Lane 275, Au Co Street, Ha Noi. — VNS

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