Poet Huu Thinh, chairman of the Viet Nam Writers Association, said international translators and researchers were busy meeting young Vietnamese authors. Thinh was speaking at a seminar titled Meeting with Young Authors.
VietNamNet Bridge - Several contracts have already been signed with foreign translators and writers here at a six-day International Conference on Promoting Vietnamese Literature.
Professor S. Dashtsevel, chairman of the Mongolia-Viet Nam Friendship Association, said he wanted to know about the modern life of Viet Nam through their works.
Translator Xia Lu, who is researching and teaching Vietnamese literature at Beijing University, said she was preparing a file in Chinese listing all significant Vietnamese literature from the country’s doi moi (renewal) process in 1986 until now.
However, she said the job was daunting. "Vietnamese literature is a big sea so I hope to seek the help of local writers, translators and critics.
Another Chinese translator, Tian Xiao Hua from China’s Social Science Institute, has been assigned by a Tianjin publisher to collect 30 Vietnamese short stories from 30 writers.
The collection is expected to be finished within the next two years, so Hua said she was interested in seeking the works of young writers – and meeting them.
Professor Catherine Cole, who is researching and teaching Vietnamese literature at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, said she wanted to work with more Vietnamese writers.
She has already introduced Vietnamese works by Bao Ninh, Le Minh Khue, Lam Thi My Da, Ho Anh Thai, Nguyen Ngoc Thuan and Phan Huyen Thu.
The seminar is focusing on how to bring Vietnamese literature, particularly by young authors, to the world. But participants agreed that translation, could either be a bridge or a barrier.
This was because many translators were amateurs without any training.
Translator Tran Thien Dao from France said several Vietnamese works translated into French could not attract French readers because they were poorly done.
A Swedish delegate said a fund was needed to support translators and pay for copyright and publishing services.
Writer Hillary Watts from the US said young Vietnamese writers should actively tap the internet to introduce themselves and their works to the world instead of waiting for foreign publishers to contact to them.
Anna Gustafsson from Sweden said the Viet Nam Literature Association should send what it considered to be the most valuable works to Sweden for annual assessment and translation into Swedish.