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Introduction & Overview of Spring-Watching Pavilion by Hồ Xuân Hương

Hồ Xuân Hương
This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Spring-Watching Pavilion.
This section contains 355 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Spring-Watching Pavilion Summary & Study Guide Description

Spring-Watching Pavilion Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on Spring-Watching Pavilion by Hồ Xuân Hương.

Introduction

It is believed that Ho Xuan Huong wrote "Spring- Watching Pavilion" sometime in the late 1700s or early 1800s in her native Vietnam. Her poems were copied by hand for almost a century, and were originally published in Vietnamese in a woodblock edition in 1909. However, they were not published as type until 2000, when John Balaban translated them into English and published them in the United States in Spring Essence: The Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong. This publication was historic for many reasons. It was the first time Ho Xuan Huong's poems had been published in the United States and it was the first time they had been published in English. Perhaps most importantly, Balaban and his publisher included versions of the poems in both English and Vietnamese, as well as the original version in Nom—the nearly extinct ideographic Vietnamese script in which Ho Xuan Huong wrote her poetry. Spring Essence was the first publication in history to print Nom as type, and its publication was lauded by scholars, popular readers, and even President Clinton, who commented on the cultural importance of the book at his own historic visit to Vietnam in 2000.

Ho Xuan Huong was an eighteenth-century concubine known for her provocative poems, which challenged the Confucian authority of her time. Some of her poems, like "Spring-Watching Pavilion," also criticized her country's institutionalized religions, in this case Mahayana Buddhism. This poem depicts the poet seeking solitude in nature, where she realizes that it is nature itself, not any organized religion or other construct of the human world, which holds the key to the search for nirvana. A current copy of "Spring-Watching Pavilion" can be found in the paperback version of Spring Essence, published by Copper Canyon Press in 2000. One should note that, in Vietnamese, a person's surname is listed first. In other words, Ho Xuan Huong's last name is Ho, not Huong. This entry preserves that style, and will refer to the author as Ho throughout the rest of the entry. Finally, to simplify the difficulties of rendering the tones of the Vietnamese language into English, accents and diacritical marks have been dropped.

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This section contains 355 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Spring-Watching Pavilion Study Guide
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Spring-Watching Pavilion from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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