paperback, 208 pp., 1. edition
translation: kolektiv vietnamistů, FF UK
published: november 2020
recommended price: 260 czk
This collection under the somewhat metaphorical title, Two Feasts, presents a selection of short stories by leading Vietnamese representatives of two periods of modern Vietnamese realistic literature. Nguyễn Công Hoan was a member of the first generation of Vietnamese who had an opportunity to obtain a modern Western-style education in their country. Nam Cao, the second of the two authors, on the other hand, was among those who achieved literary fame at the end of the colonial era.
In this excursion into three decades of modern Vietnamese literature from when Vietnamese authors were only just becoming acquainted with the genre of Western-style short stories, through the most developed phases of realism up to the period of open resistance to French domination, Czech readers have the opportunity to more closely examine the Vietnamese soul through the modern concepts of literature, which realistically describes everyday life, while at the same time maintaining the authors' traditional understanding of morality and social commitment.
The brilliant translation of these short stories into modern, lively Czech without even slightly tending towards archaism, as one might expect, makes for pleasant and even instructive reading. The knowledgeable epilogue acquaints the reader with the historical and literary context of prose, and the editorial note briefly outlines the most important moments of Vietnamese pronunciation and the difficult task of translators in the field of „exotic“ language. Thanks to the care shown by the team of editors, translators, language and subject matter advisers, readers are presented with a veritable feast.