A comparative study of Western and Vietnamese modern poetry

Dinh, Minh Hang (2017) A comparative study of Western and Vietnamese modern poetry. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

This thesis moves from a study of poetic theory to poetic practice and examines the interaction between Western and Vietnamese poetry of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in relation to specific issues, forms and individual poets. As a Vietnamese student studying in England, I have found at least two main areas of interest and concern: one is the impact of Western poetry on Vietnamese poetry, and the other is the acknowledgement by some Western poets that they have been profoundly influenced by Eastern writing. With my native awareness of Eastern ideologies in poetry, I also examine non-Western literary traditions and avant-garde approaches in the light of these parallels. To the best of my knowledge, no previous research has ever been conducted in this area. In Chapter 1, Western theories and the practice of Imagism are considered. These are crucial areas in terms of offering a new approach to East-West borrowing, understanding and misunderstanding. Chapter 2 compares Imagist poetry with Haiku, a Japanese traditional form, and proposes a way of understanding Pound’s Imagist poems according to Zen and Eastern culture. Chapters 3 and 4 indicate parallel Western and Eastern innovations in literature and society in Vietnam from the 1930s onwards. I find that there have been different ‘wars’ in modern Vietnamese poetry as Vietnamese poets have struggled with ‘writing a poem’ and ‘being a poet’. Those ‘wars’ are between ancient Chinese poetry and Vietnamese script poetry; between Eastern ideologies of morality and beauty and Western concepts of freedom in poetry; between traditional Vietnamese poetry and Thơ mới (‘New Poetry Movement’) in Vietnam, which was influenced by French Symbolism; and the resistance of Vietnamese ‘poetic rules’ to the shocks that Dada, conceptual arts and American Experimental poetry brought to Vietnam. Chapter 5 studies Gertrude Stein’s writing as a suggested innovative technique for Vietnamese poets. Chapter 6 compares and contrasts Mina Loy with a visual artist, René Magritte; here, surrealist concepts of subjects and objects are considered alongside feminist poetry in Vietnam as suggestions for breaking through the mediaeval ideologies and prejudice of modern Vietnamese poetry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of the thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Divisions: Bolton School of the Arts > English and Creative Writing
University of Bolton Theses > Creative Writing
University of Bolton Theses > English
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 15 May 2017 13:00
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 10:47
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/1142

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