Vietnamese literary classic depicted on French postage stamp

By Long Nguyen   September 25, 2020 | 06:00 am PT
Painting inspired by Nguyen Du’s epic poem "The Tale of Kieu" has been included on French postage stamps as part of a commemorative exhibit in Paris.

"Cung Dan Bac Menh" (Ill-fated Melody) by painter Ngoc Mai appears on French "green letter" stamps. These are commonly used for non-urgent letters of less than 20 grams.

Ngoc Mai and Cung Dan Bac Menh painting. Photo by VnExpress/Thoai Ha.

Ngoc Mai with "Cung Dan Bac Menh". Photo by VnExpress/Thoai Ha.

The postage stamps are introduced at the "The Tale of Kieu and Its Translations" exhibition in Paris, as part of activities marking the great poet Nguyen Du's 255th birthday and commemorating his 200th death anniversary.

Throughout the years, Nguyen Du’s masterpiece has been translated into different languages and is considered to belong to the world literary canon, like the works of Cervantes, Chekhov, Shakespeare and Goethe.

The 3,254-line poem has also been adapted to various art forms by Vietnamese living in Vietnam, as well as foreign artists and overseas Vietnamese abroad.

The exhibition from September 12-26 also includes a set of stamps illustrated by German painter Claudia Borchers.

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