Publish with us

Connect with us

Revenge of Gaia

Contemporary Vietnamese Ecofiction

Chi P. Pham
,
Chitra Sankaran
Select Preferred Format

Vietnamese literature, officially an ideological state instrument of nation-building, eulogizes acts that celebrate the victory and the power of human beings over the natural world. Generations of Vietnamese have been taught in school that Vietnam has ‘forests of gold’ and ‘seas of silver’ as well as fertile land. Vietnamese literary works, whether about the non-human or the human world, potentially reflect and resonate to these political orientations in environmental policies that ultimately serve the path to ‘progress’, ‘development’ and ‘modernisation’ of the nation.
The fiction chosen for this collection have been in active circulation in Vietnam since 1986, ‘The Reform Year’, when Vietnamese artists and writers were politically and culturally ‘liberated’ and engaged with great commitment in criticizing, among other things, the government’s environmental policies and ways in which these were enmeshed in economic strategies and schemes for so-called national progress. Thus, modernization and industrialization that were the chosen paths of the postcolonial Vietnamese government, become the major targets of contemporary Vietnamese ecofiction.
All these stories, extremely contemporary, emphasise a counter-narrative that challenges socialist goals of development and modernisation. They articulate and affirm a more holistic vision, where man is no longer a predator but a participant of nature. These stories therefore are politically charged and pave the path for a more visionary future.

Published: Sep/2021

ISBN: 9789814954822

Length: 176 Pages

Revenge of Gaia

Contemporary Vietnamese Ecofiction

Chi P. Pham
,
Chitra Sankaran

Vietnamese literature, officially an ideological state instrument of nation-building, eulogizes acts that celebrate the victory and the power of human beings over the natural world. Generations of Vietnamese have been taught in school that Vietnam has ‘forests of gold’ and ‘seas of silver’ as well as fertile land. Vietnamese literary works, whether about the non-human or the human world, potentially reflect and resonate to these political orientations in environmental policies that ultimately serve the path to ‘progress’, ‘development’ and ‘modernisation’ of the nation.
The fiction chosen for this collection have been in active circulation in Vietnam since 1986, ‘The Reform Year’, when Vietnamese artists and writers were politically and culturally ‘liberated’ and engaged with great commitment in criticizing, among other things, the government’s environmental policies and ways in which these were enmeshed in economic strategies and schemes for so-called national progress. Thus, modernization and industrialization that were the chosen paths of the postcolonial Vietnamese government, become the major targets of contemporary Vietnamese ecofiction.
All these stories, extremely contemporary, emphasise a counter-narrative that challenges socialist goals of development and modernisation. They articulate and affirm a more holistic vision, where man is no longer a predator but a participant of nature. These stories therefore are politically charged and pave the path for a more visionary future.

Select Preferred Format

Chi P. Pham

Chi P. Pham (PhD) is a tenure-researcher at the Institute of Literature in the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. She completed her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Riverside (USA). Her dissertation, her research articles and conference presentations delve into and examine Vietnamese literature and politics. Of late, Chi has become increasingly interested in the field of literature and environment; she was the Chair of the organizing committee of the second ASLE-ASEAN conference in Hanoi (January 2018), for which she put together the call for paper. Chi's native knowledge of Vietnamese culture and literature adds a dimension of authenticity to the collection.

Chitra Sankaran

Chitra Sankaran (PhD) is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, NUS. Her research interests include South and Southeast Asian fiction, feminist theory and ecocriticism. In 2012 she published with SUNY Press, History, Narrative and Testimony in Amitav Ghosh's Fiction. Her other publications include monographs, edited volumes on Asian Literatures, chapters in books and research articles in IRJs including Journal of Commonwealth Literature, ARIEL, Theatre Research International, Journal of South Asian Literature, Australian Feminist Studies and Critical Asian Studies. She is an invited contributor to the Oxford History of the Novel in English (OHNE) series. She is currently working on ecofeminism in South Asian and Southeast Asian fiction.