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Sep 29, 2020 / 15:31

Writer To Hoai: Treasure of Hanoi

On the 100th anniversary of the writer To Hoai's birthday (1920 - 2020), Kim Dong Publishing House held a seminar titled "To Hoai - Writers of all ages". The seminar is an opportunity for writers and poets nationwide to exchange and share new perspectives on the career of writer To Hoai.

"Old Hanoi man"

To Hoai is one of the largest names of modern Vietnamese literature. His real name is Nguyen Sen. He was born on September 27, 1920, in Nghia Do village, Hoai Duc district, former Ha Dong province (now Nghia Do ward, Cau Giay district, Hanoi). This is also the place where he lived and worked from his childhood to adulthood.

 12 editions of “Adventures of a cricket” of writer To Hoai

Many people called To Hoai "the old man of Hanoi", as a symbol of the intellectuals of the capital and also a witness of nearly a century of ups and downs of the city. His pen name To Hoai was actually a combination of the first two words of two famous landmarks in the old Hanoi, the To Lich, the river and Hoai Duc, the palace district.

SpeakingOne cannot speak of To Hoai, it cannot forget to mention without mentioning his literary works which imbue the mark ofimbued with Hanoi identity. To Hoai's first writings published in some magazines were quickly noticedacclaimed by the readers of that time. He soon affirmed cemented his positionprestige with a series of unique worksbooks such as: Con de men (The cricket) which was later changed its name to De men phieu luu ky (Adventures of a cricket) - one of his most popular works, Que nguoi (Homeland of others), O Chuot (Ms. Mouse), Nha ngheo (The poor). Besides, about the topic of Hanoi, most of readers who love booksreading about the capital know the workbook Chuyen cu Ha Noi (Old Stories of Hanoi) published in 1986 telling stories about an Hanoi in the old time such as thirty six old streets, trading streets and village, market, tram, Saigon Nem (spring rolls), Cha Ca (fried fish), and so on. It shows a rich part of To Hoai's collection of memories about Hanoi.

Keeping literary going on

In the seminar, readers can admire 20 portraits of writer To Hoai by photographer Nguyen Dinh Toan and immerse themselves in the world of “the cricket” in paintings by domestic and foreign painters. Recently, "To Hoai Reading Week" also took place from September 21 to 27 on the fanpage of Kim Dong Publishing House and Kim Dong Kids, towards targeting the public who loves the work of writer To Hoai.

Besides, on the occasion of the anniversary, Kim Dong Publishing House has published 21 works of To Hoai, including those that were introduced for the first time. Deputy Director and Editor-in-Chief of Kim Dong Publishing House Vu Thi Quynh Lien said: “With a meticulous investment in work on both cover and content, this series of publications expresses the deep gratitude of Kim Dong Publishing House to the author who has a great influence on the country's literature and arts. In fact, "Adventures of cricket" has travelledtraveled to 30 countries around the world. Readers will also have the opportunity to have access to 12 different editions of the book this time.”

Among the 12 different editions of "Adventures of cricket", there is one which is outstanding is for being illustrated by young painter Dau Dua. She is the first female painter to illustrate the book. She did it as her university graduation project in 2014, with the love of the book nurtured from childhood. With the eyes of young modern people, her illustration is different from that of previous generations of artists with more stylized than realized drawing.

Over nearly a century, the works of writer To Hoai are still widely read and recognized by readersacknowledged. Certainly, the literary treasure that "Hanoi Old Man" left behind will be transmitted by the young generation in many different ways, so that these works will live forever in the hearts of literary lovers.

In 2005, writer To Hoai allowedgranted Kim Dong Publishing House to managethe copyrights of all his works. Recently, the writer's family continues to authorize his works for adults for the Publisher to publish and publicize.