Culture Culture

05/07/2018 - 08:16

Song Huong Maganize gives elegance to Hue culture

Since its coming into beeing, Song Huong magazine has always been a high-rank magazine of literature and arts, contributing to Hue an elegant cultural destination.

A special issue of Song Huong magazine to celebrate its 35th anniversary

Key factor in cultural life

Affiliating himself with those early publications, researcher Nguyen Xuan Hoa has shown his wholehearted sentiments to the magazine named after a romantic river: Song Huong Magazine. He, as well as other artists and intellectuals in Hue, finds Song Huong Magazine an indispensable part of spiritual life. He is a reader and collaborator who always follows every step in the progress of the magazine.

 “I am one of the collaborators with Song Huong from the early days. Apart from writing articles and stories, I was in charge of a column specializing in the relics, history and culture of Hue. Later, when I was a member of the editorial board, I managed to convey unique cultural values not only of Hue but also of the nation. I am happy to see that after 35 years of operation, Song Huong still maintain its own nuances, deepening into cultural issues of Hue and the nation as well as the people condition” said the researcher Nguyen Xuan Hoa.

It is said that Song Huong – as a magazine of literature and arts – has established itself beyond the boundary of a region, becoming a typical art magazine of Vietnam for the last 35 years. The first editor-in-chief of Song Huong, poet Nguyen Khoa Diem, said, “Song Huong Magazine has played the role of a main pillar propping up the house of Hue culture alongside other cultural values such as Huong river, Ngu Binh mount and Hue Royal Court Music.”

Agreeing with the above opinion, researcher Nguyen Xuan Hoa commented: “Song Huong is a real key factor of the cultural life in Hue. This is because Song Huong is not only a platform for artists’ creativity to grow, but also a forum to receive creativity in literature and art by outstanding figures closely related to Hue and Vietnam nationwide and abroad.

To many readers, and deep in the heart of many writers, Song Huong is always a magazine most prestigious with high quality in terms of contents and layout. Despite the recent difficulties caused by the market-oriented mechanism and the decline in the culture of reading, Song Huong has retained its own distinctive values.

Song Huong indeed managed to go beyond the geographical space to bravely set up its own ideological and artistic spaces. Works published in Song Huong always have artistic quality values. In addition to presenting research into traditional values of Hue culture, Song Huong also publishes experience-based works, and shows its respect for different writing styles.

On the forum of Song Huong, several important issues in literature and art were discussed, worthy works published, new trends in creative writing encouraged, talented writers found and nourished, and new windows of the world’ literature and art. Writer Ho Dang Thanh Ngoc, Vice chairman of the Union of Literature and Art Associations, editor-in-chief of Song Huong magazine, said: “For the past 35 years, Song Huong has transformed into a flow of ideas in the ocean of literature and art. The name ‘Song Huong’ of the magazine has promoted the elegance of Hue culture.”

Song Huong magazine has just celebrated its 35th anniversary

Honoring culture and arts

Generations of readers from all around the country and the world have dedicated themselves to this literary magazine. In 2012, Harvard University Library sent officials to Hue to collect all Song Huong publications for research purposes.

The webpage has been visited by readers from 117 countries and territories with an incredible amount of access.

Song Huong also attracts many generations of writers, making a multitone writing space. Contributing to the creation of literary name ‘Song Huong’ are many well-known writers in Vietnamese modern literature, ranging from pre-war literature to revolutionary literature, literature of the post-unification 1975, post-doimoi 1986 and the contemporary. Song Huong is currently having a network of international collaborators from France, the US, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Netherland… Not only oversea Vietnamese but also writers of from the US, Russia, the UK, France and Germany collaborate with the magazine, including Dana Gioia, Frederick Turner, W. B. Noseworthy, Alexander Kotowske and Frederick Feirstein.

A rare highlight is that Song Huong has networked writers at home and abroad. The writer To NhuanVy, former editor-in-chief of Song Huong magazine, put it: “One of the spotlights that Song Huong magazine could do since its launch is to persist with the orientation of reconciliating in literature and culture, and connect patriotic artists from abroad.

Song Huong is also a platform for young writers from the war time up to now. Many new writers from Song Huong show themselves in Vietnamese literature forum. In the upcoming writing orientation, Song Huong magazine continues looking for and nourishing young writing talents.

Current writers for Song Huong are striving for innovations and higher quality on the established foundation and identity. Writer Ho Dang Thanh Ngoc emphasized: “Song Huong was very clear about its orientation at the beginning of the country’s doimoi, that is, ‘writing must be perceptive if it is about the past, assertive about the novelty and open to the world.’ In the globalization, Song Huong sticks to preserve the cultural identity of Hue, honor the true literary and artistic values and promote new creative writings.”

Story and photos: Trang Hien