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Type: Thesis
Title: Vietnam to the World, a Magical Connection: ‘Embers of Time’ (a novel) and ‘Bridging Disparate Realms’ (an exegesis)
Author: Hoang, Ngoc Thu
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Humanities : English and Creative Writing
Abstract: The thesis comprises a novel and an exegesis. The novel, ‘Embers of Time’, is inspired by a Vietnamese fable. Beginning in 1830, the story follows two young men, Lưu and Nguyễn, who embark on a hunting trip from their village in Vietnam’s northern highlands. Lost overnight in the forest, they meet a group of young women in the morning and spend a day in an otherworldly Realm. Returning at nightfall, the friends discover they have been away for a hundred years, during which the French have invaded and occupied their homeland. Gone are their family and friends, their language and culture, their work and future expectations, while the many French-introduced changes are as alienating to the young men as the French themselves. Reduced to outsiders in their own country, Lưu and Nguyễn are forced to defend their family names and history. For the friends, returning home is just the beginning of a new journey in a foreign land. The exegesis, ‘Bridging Disparate Realms’, is a cross-cultural exploration of comparable ways of living and modes of expression, such as those represented under the broad banner of Magical Realism. The thesis explores the personal, historical, cultural and literary background that informed my creative process and investigates disparities between English and Vietnamese literary traditions. The latter are grounded in an ancient culture built over four thousand years with distinct linguistic features and cultural and religious practices shaped by specific historical and political conditions. These are often culturally untranslatable, as recognised by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, among other critics and writers. Adapting Magical Realism narrative devices and creating new tools have been conducive to my attempt at bridging intrinsically different traditions and conventions in writing the novel. The particular influence of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude is examined in relation to the development of my creative work, while Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, Ben Okri’s The Famished Road, Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria, David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life and Chi Vu’s novella Anguli Ma: A Gothic Tale serve as additional illuminating examples of the power of literature to connect cultures and peoples, helping to locate ‘Embers of Time’ within a broader literary framework.
Advisor: Hosking, Susan
Prosser, Rosslyn
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2018
Keywords: Vietnamese culture and history
Vietnam under French rule
Vietnamese language and literature
Magical Realism
Vietnamese-Australian writing
Vietnamese legends and fables
Description: Vol. 1 'Embers of Time': a novel -- Vol. 2 'Bridging Disparate Realms': an exegesis
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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Hoang2018_PhD_Vol.1.pdfNovel1.1 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Hoang2018_PhD_Vol.2.pdfExegesis836.54 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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