SUVANNABHUMI 2022 KCI Impact Factor : 0.07

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pISSN : 2092-738X / eISSN : 2799-7839
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2022, Vol.14, No.1

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    Re-writing World Literature through Juxtaposition: Decolonizing Comparative Literature in Vietnam

    Chi P. Pham , Ninh H. Do | 2022, 14(1) | pp.9~29 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Postcolonial critics have criticized Comparative Literature for exclusively studying literatures from the non-Western world through Western lenses. In other words, postcolonial criticism asserts that theorists and practitioners of comparative literature have traced the "assistance" of the classic "comparison and contrast" approach to an imperialist discourse, which sustains the superiority of Western cultures and economies. As a countermeasure to reading through the comparative lens, literary theories have offered a "juxtapositional model of comparison" that connects texts across cultures, places, and times. This paper examines practices of Comparative Literature in Vietnam, revealing how the engagement with decolonizing processes leads to a knowledge production that is paradoxically colonial. The paper also analyses implementations of this model in reading select Vietnamese works and highlights how conventional comparisons, largely based on historical influences and reception, maintain the colonial mapping of World Literature, centralizing Western, and more particularly, English Literature and in the process marginalizing the others. Therefore, the practice of juxtaposing Vietnamese literary works with canonical works of the World Literature will provoke dialogues and raise awareness of hitherto marginalized works to an international readership. In this process, the paper considers the contemporary interest of Comparative Literature practice in trans- national, trans-regional, trans-historical, and trans-cultural perspectives.
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    The Preponderance of Indigenous Experience Or the Naivety of Modern Man over the “Trap of Nature”?: Juxtaposing Nature in The Story of Pao (Ngô Quang Hải) and Into the Wild (Sean Penn)

    Duong T. Le | 2022, 14(1) | pp.31~52 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Derived from the juxtapositional model of Comparative Literature, this article analyzes two movies, The Story of Pao (Chuyện của Pao, directed by Ngô Quang Hải) and Into the Wild (directed by Sean Penn), using eco-criticism and focusing on two specific aspects: looking for the relationship between “culture” and “nature” and questioning the ideology that puts people at the center of the natural world. Specifically, the article points out similar tones in discovering and praising the beauty of nature, and at the same time, focuses on explaining the “disagreement” and “harmony” in behaviors of different communities towards Mother Nature in these two films. Finally, The Story of Pao and Into the Wild are both read as discourses that participate in the repositioning of human beings in the natural world. The purpose of juxtaposition, therefore, is to seek a new existential dimension for the works, providing an opportunity to uncover and reveal hidden layers of meaning of each text.
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    Discourse of Minority Communities: Comparing Archetypal Heroes in Nguyễn Huy Thiệp’s “The Tiger’s Heart” (1971) and John Steinbeck’s The Pearl (1947)

    Nguyen Thi Thu Hang , Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan | 2022, 14(1) | pp.53~70 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This article compares archetypal heroes in Nguyễn Huy Thiệp's “The Tiger’s Heart” and John Steinbeck's The Pearl. It aims to explore the voices of marginalized groups and ethnic minorities who suffer amidst the clash of civilizations. In exploring cultural communication between minority and mainstream communities as embodied by the archetypal heroes in the two works, this article highlights implications of resistance against values of the dominant. The method of "mythization" in modern Eastern and Western Literature, as this article argues, demonstrates the importance of minority discourses in as far as cultural conflicts in the globalizing world are concerned.
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    Constructing Women’s Voices: Approaching Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Bảo Ninh’s The Sorrow of War from Feminist Criticism

    Đặng Thị Bích Hồng | 2022, 14(1) | pp.71~87 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This article explores how women’s voices are constructed in The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and Nỗi buồn chiến tranh (The Sorrow of War) by Bảo Ninh. Specifically, this article approaches presentations of women's personalities and positions in the two novels that do not have obvious historical and geographical connections. The women's voices in the two novels, as this article suggests, are characterized by women's desire for self-determination, where they are able to free themselves from domination, and even influence men's psychology and actions. In comparing the characteristics of women’s voices in the two works, the article aims to highlight different ways in which women assert their agency. The article affirms the potential contribution of cultural contexts in examining feminist voices and understanding how female figures are made to overcome default passivity and submission to male domination.
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    Imagining the Countryside in Literatures of the Eastern Lands: Juxtaposing “Dưới bóng hoàng lan” (“In the Ylang-Ylang Shade,” 1942) by Thạch Lam (Thach Lam, Vietnam) and “Антоновские яблоки” (“Antonov Apples”, 1900) by Иван Бунин (Ivan Bunin, Russia)

    Do Thi Huong | 2022, 14(1) | pp.89~108 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Using Peter Barry’s conception of “outdoor environment” in discoursing nature and culture, this article analyzes images of the countryside in the short stories “Dưới bóng hoàng lan” (“In the Ylang-Ylang Shade”) by Thạch Lam (Thach Lam) and “Антоновские яблоки” (“Antonov Apples”) by Иван Бунин (Ivan Bunin). The two share portray the Eastern Lands, as may be seen in Vietnamese northern countryside and the East Slavic, Byzantine. The paper focuses on three aspects of the countryside—cultural values; traces of urban life and; the aspirations of people. The article aims to emphasize people's desire to return to a type of nature that bears traces and harmonizes with human cultures.
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    The Autonomization of French and Vietnamese Literature: Comparing Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) and Vũ Trọng Phụng (1912-1939)

    Phùng Ngọc Kiên | 2022, 14(1) | pp.109~131 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper compares the French Gustave Flaubert (1821- 1880) and the Vietnamese Vũ Trọng Phụng (1912-1939), and explores transformations of their aesthetic experiences that led to the autonomization of French literary field in the nineteenth century and Vietnamese in the early twentieth century. Inspired from the term “archive” coined by Michel Foucault, this article argues that Flaubert, in abandoning the bourgeois tastes, contested realism and built his own writing ideology and style, which is called subjective realism. On the other hand, it also argues that Vũ Trọng Phụng, through the popular report genre, he gained success and evolved his own novel writing style, aptly called the realism of speech. It is ostensible that the transformation in the two authors' writing style and aesthetic experience was derived from the way they distanced themselves from their contemporaries' common tastes while making use of free indirect speeches, all with the aim of granting readers the autonomy of reading.
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    The Shifts of Power in Gender Discourse: Approaching Bao Ninh's Short Stories and Svetlana Alexievich's Unwomanly Face of War from Feminist Narratology

    Cao Kim Lan | 2022, 14(1) | pp.133~160 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper examines narratives of women's marginal position in Bao Ninh's Short Stories and Svetlana Alexievich's Unwomanly Face of War from a feminist narratological approach. In analyzing voices of marginalized women, direct and indirect descriptions of women's beauty and pain, and private-public narratives of women's love stories, this paper aims to identify presentations of women's real authority in the text written by a male author, Bao Ninh, and in the one by a female author. The paper argues that juxtaposing these texts reveals an overturn of the traditional conception of sexual and gender differences. Specifically, distinguishing between male/female discourse does not show powerful /nonpowerful language, but recognizes the real authority of each type of discourse based on sexual differences. The writing also illustrates that masculine language becomes powerless and deficient in the women's world; meanwhile, in writing about herself, woman establishes a type of a powerful feminine discourse, which blends both emotional, enthusiastic, and gossipy characteristics of female language and direct, rational, and strong ones of male language. Thus, the feminists' radical segregation on male/female discourses to overturn masculine authority and create a language for women at par with men has been clearly shifted when comparing the two writers' texts based on the juxtapositional model of the comparative literature.
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    The Phenomenon of Interference in Popular and Articistic Literature: Comparing Red Summer by Nguyễn Nhật Ánh and Goodbye Tsugumi by Yoshimoto Banana From the Perspective of Japanese Shoujo Manga

    Nguyen Thi Mai Lien , Thanh Duc Hong Ha | 2022, 14(1) | pp.161~189 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Nguyễn Nhật Ánh and Yoshimoto Banana are authors from two different literary movements, cultures, and countries. Their works are all best-sellers and have received many prestigious awards. Comparing their works from the perspective of shoujo manga, we can see that there are many similarities between them. Regarding the concept of composition, they all want to create works that are accessible to the majority of the public. Therefore, they choose topics which are close and attractive to mass readers as well as simple style, characters, literary devices, artistic space and time that are famous in shoujo - a popular art form of Japan. However, the ideological content in the works of both is not explicit and simple, but expresses the eternal feelings and values of humanity such as love for people, love for the homeland, country, reflecting the depths of both the conscious and the subconscious as well as profound aesthetic and philosophical values, profound aesthetic and philosophical values. Their works present the trend of interference between popular culture and elite literature. We can draw lessons for young writers, cultural managers and a wide audience from the success of these two writers.
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    The Perception and Production of Vietnamese Tones by Japanese, Lao and Taiwanese Second Language Speakers

    Đào Mục Đích , Anh Thư T. Nguyên | 2022, 14(1) | pp.193~228 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This study investigates the production and perception of Vietnamese tones by Japanese, Lao, and Taiwanese second language (L2) learners [n=30], comparing their performance in an Imitation task to that of Identification and Read-Aloud tasks. The results show that the Imitation task is generally easier for L2 speakers than the Identification and Read-Aloud tasks, suggesting that imitation is performed without some of the skills required by the other two tasks. It is also found that Lao and Taiwanese speakers outperform Japanese speakers, suggesting that prior experience with one tone language facilitates the acquisition of tone in another language. The result on speakers’ tonal range show that L2 leaners have significantly narrower tonal F0 range than control Vietnamese speakers [n=11]. The results of error pattern analysis and tonal transcription also suggest that non-modal voice (glottal stop and creakiness) and contour tones (bidirectional fall-rise) are more difficult for L2 learners than modal voice tones (e.g., unidirectional contours: rising, falling, and level).
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    Death and the Inoperative Community in the Works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Merlinda Bobis

    John Andrew M. del Prado | 2022, 14(1) | pp.229~246 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Gabriel García Márquez’s short story “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” [“El ahogado más hermoso del mundo,” 1968] and the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold [Crónica de una muerte anunciada, 1981] and Merlinda Bobis’s novel Fish-Hair Woman (2012) and short story “O Beautiful Co-Spirit” (2021) feature unusual scenarios of death: the arrival of a drowned man’s corpse at an island; the inaction of the community to stop the foretold death of a supposedly-innocent man; a woman with long hair that can fetch dead bodies at the bottom of the village river; and a Filipino Catholic and a Malaysian Muslim working together to prepare an Italian Catholic’s corpse for a funeral. These narratives demand critical attention as all deaths make the community’s existence meaningful as they alter its social reality. Looking into the works of the aforementioned Colombian writer and Filipino writer and unveiling how death affects the community, this paper relies on Jean-Luc Nancy’s theory on death and inoperative community.