Tale of Kieu in Romanian language hinh anh 1An illustrative drawing inside the Romanian version of The Tale of Kieu (Photo: sggp.org.vn)

Ha Tinh (VNA) – A Romanian version of the great epic poem by poet Nguyen Du (1766–1820) has just been handed as a gift to the Nguyen Du Memorial Centre in the central province of Ha Tinh.

The version was collected by Prof Luong Phuong Hau when he was doing his PhD in Bucharest, Romania.

Hau was born in the central province of Nghe An and used to work as a lecturer at the Hanoi Civil Construction University.

The book measures 13x20cm, with 184 pages covering the full 3,254 verses of the poem and is printed with some illustrative paintings.

The book was published in 1967 by the Bucharest Literature Publishing House and was translated from the French version by Pham Van Vinh by Romanian translator Radu Moureanu.

Before The Tale of Kieu, the children’s story De Men Phieu Luu Ky (A Cricket’s Diary) by writer To Hoai had been translated into Romanian.

The centre has been storing versions of The Tale of Kieu in Russian, French, English, German, Spanish and some other languages.

The Tale of Kieu is an epic poem in Vietnamese written by Nguyen Du, and is widely regarded as the most significant work of Vietnamese literature.

In 3,254 verses, written in luc bat ("six–eight") meter, the poem recounts the life, trials and tribulations of Thuy Kieu, a beautiful and talented young woman, who has to sacrifice herself to save her family.

To save her father and younger brother from prison, she sells herself into a marriage with a middle-aged man, not knowing that he is a pimp, and is forced into prostitution.

While modern interpretations vary, some post-colonial writers have interpreted it as a critical, allegorical reflection on the rise of the Nguyen Dynasty.-VNA