German Authors Create Special “Vietnamese Postcards”
On January 6, Goethe-Institut in Hanoi and Nha Nam Culture and Media Joint Stock Company co-organized a program to introduce the publication "Vietnamese Postcards" by German writer Jan Wagner and illustrator Robert Deutsch.
The program was attended by two German authors, translator Thai Kim Lan, writers Nguyen Truong Quy, Maik Cay and a large audience. The talk was held to bring multi-dimensional perspectives on works that play a role in bridging the two cultures of Vietnam - Germany and promoting the image of Vietnam through literature in general.
"Vietnamese Postcards" is excerpted from the collection "Happy Memories" (in German: “Der glückliche Augenblick: Beiläufige Prosa”) by Jan Wagner. Wagner was born in 1971 in Hamburg, lives and works in Berlin (Germany). This is a famous contemporary German poet and writer with well-known works such as the collection Lyrik von Fetzt (2003) and the book Der Wald im Zimmer (2007).
In 2017, with the support of the Goethe-Institut in Hanoi, Jan Wagner participated in a residency program in Vietnam. "Vietnamese Postcards" can be considered a "diary" recording the writer's experiences during his journey to explore Hanoi, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City.
|Speakers at the talk (from left to right): illustrator Robert Deutsch, writer Jan Wagner (online), writer Nguyen Truong Quy, translator Thai Kim Lan, and writer Maik Cay. (Photo: Thoi Dai)
"It's been more than 7 years since I set foot in Vietnam, but I remember the interesting experiences I had because your culture is completely different from where I was born. I am fascinated by the local people and cuisine of the lands I visited, even the smallest things like sounds, birds, traffic on the streets... These experiences and discoveries are the inspiration for this work", said Jan Wagner.
"Vietnamese Postcards" not only shares the experience of writer Jan Wagner but also conveys to readers the artistic creations of illustrator Robert Deutsch. He was born in 1981 in Kothen and lives in Leipzig (Germany). Robert made a journey to explore Vietnam in 2022 when he took on the role of consultant at a graphic novel creation workshop for Vietnamese artists of the Franco-German Cultural Foundation.
|"Vietnamese Postcards" is one part of the collection "Happy Memories" (in German: “Der glückliche Augenblick: Beiläufige Prosa”) by writer Jan Wagner. (Photo: Thoi Dai)
The talented young artist said that the inspiration for the illustrations in "Vietnamese Postcards" includes things he directly encountered on the streets of Hanoi, his research about the country, Vietnamese people as well as the experience of working creatively with local artists. Although he only had a very short stay, Robert Deutsch was extremely impressed with the lively daily culture here.
At the talk, experienced translator Thai Kim Lan, who has lived in Germany for decades, shared her feelings about author Jan Wagner's perspective expressed in "Vietnamese Postcards." Readers will not only be impressed with a foreigner's new perspective on Vietnam but will also be able to see the poetry and unique style of this contemporary writer.
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