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Chinese literature thrives in Vietnam

2015-03-16 10:00 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

Visiting Dinh Le street in Vietnam' s capital Hanoi, it is not so difficult to find publications of Chinese literature here. Numerous bookshops stand close together along the 200-meter long street, making Dinh Le a "book street" in Hanoi.

At a bookshop named "Hoang" on Dinh Le street, Chinese books are seen displayed along a two-meter by three-storey bookshelf near the entrance with mainly classical literature and romantic novels being the prevalent themes. At other stores, Chinese books are also displayed at eye-catching areas.

"Sales of Shui Hu Zhuan, San Guo Yan Yi and other Chinese classical literature are good. Readers are both youngsters and elders," said Thanh, a shop staff.

According to Thanh, Vietnamese readers like this kind of book because they are interested in stories of heroic men who are brave and chivalrous. There are also elderly people who buy those books they have read years ago and now want to collect them.

"Days ago, there was one old man who bought the full sets of Shui Hu Zhuan and San Guo Yan Yi," Thanh told Xinhua.

"Sales of works of Chinese contemporary and modern writers, including Mo Yan and Lu Xun, are also stable, unlike romantic novels which are 'hot' only when they are newly published," a manager of "Hoang" bookstore said, adding that readers of Mo Yan, Lu Xun's books and other Chinese classical works in Vietnam vary in ages, while romantic novels attract mainly youngsters.

After winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012, Chinese writer Mo Yan has become more popular in Vietnam, while Lu Xun has a specific reputation in the country with two of his works being printed in Vietnamese literature textbooks.

"I like reading Chinese novels, including those of Jin Yong, because I like stories of heroic men with superior martial arts skills," a male reader in his 30s told Xinhua. Meanwhile, Linh, a Vietnamese student at a university in Hanoi talked to Xinhua while she was choosing Chinese romantic novels. " I like Chinese romantic novels as they tell stories with attractive narrative which is closely related to daily life."

The popularity of Chinese literature in Vietnam is not only being seen in bookstores but also on online forums.

"It can't be denied that this novel is so good to read. I cried a lot while reading this," a Vietnamese online reader named "Hue Ngo" commented on a forum on Chinese internet novels in Vietnam.

"I read this novel. I also watched this TV drama series, and then read the novel again. I have read a lot of novels, but none of them haunted me like this," another online reader commented. They are talking about Bubu Jingxin, a Chinese online novel about time traveling.

"Are there any novels as good as this?", "This novel is so good, " "It's worth reading."

These are comments of Vietnamese readers about the Chinese online novel Gui Chui Deng.

In recent years, a number of Chinese online literature sites have lured many Vietnamese online readers. For those who do not know the Chinese language, they use online translation tools to learn the content of the story, then wait for translated editions of those publications.

According to statistics, during 2009-2013, as many as 841 titles of Chinese books were translated and published in Vietnamese, of which 617 titles of books are online literature.

Most of the Chinese outstanding online literature has been translated into Vietnamese, including romantic novels of nearly 100 Chinese online writers.

Due to Vietnam and China being close geographically and the two nations sharing their oriental culture and heritage, Vietnamese readers increasingly enjoy reading Chinese books translated into Vietnamese.

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