- Vietnamese poetic drama research.
In the modernization process of national literature, there are literary patches that have not been recognized and evaluated fully and accurately. Due to reunification nation’s history turned into a new period. Collection and research of literature have flourished in order to outline the entire aspect of modern Vietnamese literature.
However, there aren’t any deep and independent studies on the works of dramatists, especially poetic dramas. Thus, when we studied Vietnamese poetic drama in the period 1932–1945, we focused on investigation of new observations, more complete in terms of this sector’s aspect that resulted in giving out accurate conclusions on the contributions of dramatists to the Vietnamese literature.
In the process of data survey research, we found that there is a little studies on Vietnamese poetic drama. In general, researchers study only a narrow aspect in a few typical works of dramatists. Thus, the assessment of the value and nature of Vietnamese poetic drama in the period 1932–1945 could be surveyed and defined in many ways and by many different paths. We chose a way that is approached from the perspective of such aspect as characteristics of types. In order to acknowledge a comprehensive assessment of contributions of Vietnamese poetic dramatists for the reception from traditional to contemporary as well as impacts of the new poetry movement was done.
- The process of establishment and development of Vietnamese poetic drama.
It is a result of approach and cultural exchanges between the East and the West; poetic dramas actually play an important role in the national history. Besides, poetic dramatists — who gave birth to the Vietnamese poetic drama contributed to typical characteristics for Vietnamese literature and made it more various in terms of aspects of national literature in the process of integration and development.
Phan Khac Khoan and Huy Thong had a big contribution to the literature, that creatу Vietnamese poetic drama type.
Nguyen Hue Chi in the literary dictionary (the new) said about the poetic drama in the period 1932–1945 as: «New poetry movement have gotten brilliant achievements and have been developing into full swing, especially when urban life and demand of recitation arose everywhere, poetic drama first appeared in England, Russia (1934), Tieng dich song O (1935)» [10, 234].
The poetic drama in this period is divided into two generations. In the first, Huy Thong and Phan Khac Hoan with the experimental nature of the authors chose a suitable type of poetry for the poetic drama, that is a poetry with 8 words. In the second, the poetic dramatists in this period is The Lu, Nguyen Binh, Luu Quang Thuan, Hoang Cam, Vu Hoang Chuong. It seems that «looking at the time, it seems that the Vietnamese poetic drama is a «reverse trend» to the rule of poetic drama in the world — it appears after the drama had appeared. It is a stepping-stone in long-term process, and suits with the rules. The poetic drama fulfilled the gap that artists feel lacking, the soaked voice performance is not too far from the voice that help audiences not to be so sudden, on gradually to acquaint with modern stage and to leave the traditional stage». Authors have helped us to shape the origins and development of Phan Khac Khoan poetic drama in particular as well as types of poetic drama in whole period in general. However, it is not yet exploit specific characteristics of each object [2, 34].
Phan Huy Dung commented on the poetic drama in the new poetry: «To make a mention of the new poetry structure, it needs to mention the lyric with the dramatic form and attached with some authors such as Huy Thong, Han Mac Tu. This is a new type of lyric, and is entirely a product of new poetry. Note: we divide the lyric into the lyric with dramatic form and poetic drama (or drama has a poetic form — it is also a contribution of new poetry into national poetry). Works of poetic drama such as Tran Can, Ly Chieu Hoang, Nguyen Hoang of Phan Khac Khoan, Yeu Ly, Le Lai doi ao of Luu Quang Thuan, Kieu Loan of Hoang Cam… are actually dramas in poetry. From the scientist’s comments in his thesis, the poetic drama in the new poetry is divided into two types: poetic drama and dramatic poetry, besides the author also identifies that the poetic drama is the «dramatization of lyrical voice» in order to help audiences to feel more deeply in term of the tension as well as typical nuances of emotion». Although, in his thesis, the author did not research deeply about types of poetic drama, based on judgments above, we can see clearly the standard point that has a scientific significance in the process of poetic drama [1, 10].
Besides above works, we found a lot of articles in various websites, especially works of Nguyen Thi Minh Thai, Le Thoa, Nguyen Trong Tao, Hoang Cam, Hoai Huong. When answering Tung Son in Viet Bao, the writer — Nguyen Cong Khanh — had replied: «I think that the poetic drama is the most difficult to write of literature sectors. Two parts «drama» and «poetry» have to close harmony and almost symmetrical. If it is too heavy or intense, the poetry will be reduced. If it inclines to poetry, drama will be stretched, loosed, and may deflect it’s attention. Using poetry and only poetry to describe the characters, circumstances, cases with all of changes under different direction, but could not be deflected drama’s route. Poetry in drama may raise more dramatic, with its own flavor, and unique, but can also ruin drama unexpected poetry. Because of such strict requirements, there is not everyone who can write the poetic drama and take the devoted time to it. The poetic drama is a luxury «goods», but audience’s demand now is eager with many other things…». It is a correct identification, the writer pointed out characteristics of writing and receiving poetic drama, which are very difficult to create art and also chooses receivers. In general, although researchers had an attention and monitor to the process of the birth and development of the poetic drama, there is not any article or any scientific quantitative them about this literary genre.
Huy Can in the article of Phan Khac Hoan introduction: the poetic drama and poetry (1999), «besides poems, Phan Khac Hoan and Huy Thong had a contribution to the literature, that created the type of Vietnamese poetic drama with works such as Pham Thai, Tran Can, Ly Chieu Hoang… «Ly Chieu Hoang» is a drama that has a lot of value in term of ideology and art — the author described a big tragedy in the national history, that is Tran Canh’s tragedy — a King of Tran dynasty — between the individual emotion and national destiny — the individual emotion is a love dearly between Tran Canh and Ly Chieu Hoang; the national destiny is a responsibility that he must consolidate the Tran dynasty under the foresight of Tran Thu Do — Phan Khac Khoan. With logical layout and good dramatic words, the drama has portrayed historical characters and unique personalities and aspects of each man. I do think that it is a good drama, if it is rebuilt by a troupe, it will have a big effect with a theme «the individual emotion is light, the national destiny is sustainable». Via this article, the author showed that although historical theme, writer is not be bounden by historical circumstances. He exploited historical circumstances with modern writer’s feeling. The content of dramas reflects the concern of intellectuals during the delivery time and before the historical volatility.
In modern writers, Vu Ngoc Phan showed comments on the poetic drama of two playwrights who gave birth to the Vietnamese poetic drama: «Pham Huy Thong is the most heroic poetry in the new poetry style. His poems are steely stubborn, but are not dry and poor rhyme». With Phan Khac Khoan also belongs to the new poetry style, but his style is different from Che Lan Vien. He described the situation with no speciality, yet described colorful scenes such as «Trong suong gio», then there is the very epic poetry, as many verses in the play «Tran Can». From these two writers, researchers identified characteristics of the historical drama that is epic poetry, promoted prideful patriotic spirit of the artist [4, 23].
Nguyen Tan Long in the Thi nhan tien chien commented on the poetic drama Thao: «In Nguoi mu dao truc or Quan bien thuy, the poet gave his heart to frame in «personal hero» go to the cynicism. He assessed Phan Khac Khoan poetic drama: «Phan Khac Khoan gave us to relive about the era of aggressive youth to brandish sword and whip up over all mountain paths carrying national favor heart despite of having misconceptions». Thus, we affirm that Nguyen Tan Long had attentions to the poetic drama works that he supposes that they are typical works in this period to introduce to readers. This proves that he appreciated this poetic drama type in the pre-war period.
Vo Van Truc wrote in Phan Khac Khoan, poetry and poetic drama said: « Xa xa is the best work of Phan Khac Khoan. However, his remarkable contributions to the Vietnamese literature history is not «Xa xa», that is the poetic drama. When we mention to Phan Khac Khoan, we cannot unmention to the poetic drama. In general, the arrival of French literature, there is the drama and poetic drama of Corneille, Racine. Huy Thong is a pioneer, but his works are not yet the poetic drama. Phan Khac Khoan has taken credit for giving the poetic drama become an important component of national literature. In a short time less than five years, he launched the audience plays — Ly Chieu Hoang, Tran Can. […].
Assessing the content of Phan Khac Khoan poetic drama, let’s hang historian perspective, consider about the idea that embraces all of play. It is progressive ideas that are also positive meaning when the whole nation are groaning under the heel of foreign states». It can be confirmed that Vo Van Truc is a researcher who has many accurate assessments about the poetic drama, especially the poetic drama of Phan Khac Khoan.
In conclusion: The existence and promotion of the strength of poetic drama genre in the modern literature type is clearly a sense of innovation and tremendous legacy. The studies found this majority, but only identified through surveys, analysis of some separate types. In fact, there is no any specific project and scale of systematism with all the simple characteristics in the poetic drama. It is a cause of undetermined its position, role and significance of the genre. In addition, lessons learned from the research are not deeply and unconvinced. Comparative research methods — type certainly has yet to fulfill its performance.
Conclusion: Because the research problem is not separate, so the study of Vietnamese poetic drama aspect in the period 1930–1945 still needs to be continued on a larger scale and in a more comprehensive perspective. Of course, opinions and research achievements of authors in the previous time are always the good lessons for us to inherit and develop our works.
When approach to the opinions of critics in the later time to Vietnamese poetic drama aspect in the period 1930–1945 via the studies above, we can go to the overview of a period and a practical composing of poetic dramatists. From the above studies, we found the problems from general to detailed category, the debates about concept or approach to composing life of one or some writers, typical works of poetic drama genre in current. On the other hand, the Vietnamese poetic drama in the period 1930–1945 was approached by researchers only separately. There is no study about the poetic drama as a completed genre system with all the characteristics of the time, ideas, concepts, as well as the appearance of writers who had contributions to the birth of the Vietnamese poetic drama.
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