Article

Queer Internationalism and Modern Vietnamese Aesthetics

Ben Tran

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195338904
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195338904.013.0015

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Queer Internationalism and Modern Vietnamese Aesthetics

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By examining Vietnamese intellectuals' reception of André Gide and his articulation of national particularity, this article revisits the question of engagement and influence between European modernists and colonial writers. It emphasizes the political and aesthetic stakes of modern Vietnamese literature—its anticipation of a new reading public and its relationship to a national readership. The article examines the historical contexts of nationalism after World War I: nationalism's dialectical relationship with communist internationalism, its conditions of anti-colonial struggle, and its transformation of cultural forms. Beyond communism' critique of objective material conditions, the radical openness afforded by Gide's proposed interpellation of non-normative sexuality and non-normative particularity appealed to Vietnamese intellectuals, as they grappled with the inequalities and unevenness of colonial modernity.

Keywords: André Gide; national particularity; Vietnam; European modernists; European colonial writers; modern Vietnamese literature; communist internationalism; non-normative sexuality

Article.  9063 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers) ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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