The Poem “Ordinary Days” by Ý Nhi and the Picture of the “Imagined Community” in Modern Vietnamese Literature


Community discourse in modern Vietnamese literature often expresses the proposition that community is associated with tradition, history and culture, especially in the war and post- war period. Ý Nhi (1944 - ) has such a creative poetic style that many literary critics of her generation consider it as a breakthrough amid the general trend. Although she found herself among the poets of the US-Vietnam War period, Ý Nhi soon followed a path of her own, innovating the art of poetry and bringing new ideas into her writings. Ý Nhi is one of the most famous representatives of modern Vietnamese poetry. Her poetry received international recognition from The Swedish Cikada Prize in 2015. The paper going to employ Benedict Anderson’s cultural theory of “imagined communities” proposed in Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism as a tool to interpret one of the ideological innovations in her poetry. It is the construction of the community image, predominantly expressed in the poem “Ngày thường” (Ordinary Days). By applying this theory, this paper proves that “Ordinary Days” has built a popular imagined community, in contrast to the imagined community associated with the ideology of official nationalism in mainstream Vietnamese literature. The change in the concept of community as portrayed in the poem has advanced ahead of the Vietnamese literary dominant trend at that time, somewhat preparing the road for the shift of literary style in the later period.

Author Information
Nguyễn Hồng Anh, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Vietnam

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2023
Stream: South-East Asian Studies (including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)

This paper is part of the ACAS2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Anh N. (2023) The Poem “Ordinary Days” by Ý Nhi and the Picture of the “Imagined Community” in Modern Vietnamese Literature ISSN: 2187-4735 The Asian Conference on Asian Studies 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon