Community discourse often dominates in modern Vietnamese literature, expressing the idea that community is associated with tradition, history, and culture, especially in the war and post-war period.
Amidst that general trend, Y Nhi’s poetry is a breakthrough and creative poetic style. Although Y Nhi (1944 - ) belongs to the Vietnam-American war poets, she soon follows her own path, innovating the form of poetry and renovating the content of her writings. Until now, Ý Nhi’s poetry is not only one of the most famous representatives of modern Vietnamese poetry but also internationally recognized with the 2015 Cikada Prize.
One of her poetic innovations is the construction of the community image. We find the cultural theory of “imagined community” in “Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism” by Benedict Anderson (1936-2015) as a theoretical tool that is worthwhile to help us analyse the image of the community in the poem “Ordinary Days” by Y Nhi. Applying this theory, the article proves that the poem builds a new community image, not connected by tradition, history, or causal time, but by the “imagined” with simultaneity and empty time. The change in the concept of community in the poem preceded the Vietnamese literary movements at that time, partly supporting the evolution of Vietnamese literary style in the later period.
Hong Anh Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Vietnam
About the Presenter(s)
NGUYEN HONG ANH is a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Literature, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education. She is currently an doctoral candidate at Ho Chi Minh City University of Education.
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