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Journal Article

THE COLLECTIVE AND THE INDIVIDUAL IN TWO POST-WAR VIETNAMESE NOVELS

John C. Schafer
Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Vol. 14, No. 2 (2000), pp. 13-48
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40860735
Page Count: 36
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THE COLLECTIVE AND THE INDIVIDUAL IN TWO POST-WAR VIETNAMESE NOVELS
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Abstract

In the late 1980s, when Vietnam's renovation policy loosened restrictions on writers, novels emerged that described the characters' private dreams and fears in much greater detail than had been done before. Two of these more inward-looking novels are analyzed here: Lê Lựu's A Time Far Past and Trần Manh Háo's Separation. Both novels argue that limits should be placed on "collective concern" and that individuals should have more say in choice of marriage partners and in other aspects of their lives. The article relates this argument to current issues and to past literary debates, and it considers how life and literature in Vietnam might change if collective concern becomes severely weakened.

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