Culture Culture

13/01/2022 - 09:45

The gift "worth the money"

9 years after the release of vol. 8, vol.9 of Hue Studies (HS) has just been released to readers.

9 years after the release of vol. 8, vol.9 of Hue Studies (HS) has just been released to readers. Photo: Nhật Linh

Someone commented that this was probably the "strangest" publication because of its format and thickness, being sized 19x26.5cm and containing from nearly 350 pages to more than 550 pages with small font size. Therefore, many people estimate that this volume of HS must be thousands of pages thick if printed with normal font size as found in other publications.

However, the strangest thing to say is about its issue date. It takes years for another volume of HS to come out. In the case of the above-mentioned vol. 8 and vol. 9, the time gap is even up to nearly a decade.

The reasons, as revealed by the publishers, lie in the collection of papers, printing costs, and the conditions and health of the executers as well.

HS has a consistent policy of not accepting advertising and receiving sponsorship from any organization or individual either. The purpose is for HS not to be dominated and to keep the desired quality. And indeed, 9 volumes of HS having been released in turn and delivered to readers are works of tremendous enthusiasm and knowledge that can make even the most demanding readers satisfied.

Nguyen Khoa Diem, the poet, former Politburo member, former head of the Central Committee for Thought and Culture, when attending the premiere of vol 8. of HS, once commented: "HS is a very Hue publication, which is very serious, worth reading and keeping.”

Because of these reasons, many scholars, researchers, or book collectors, express their desires and make great efforts to collect all 9 volumes of HS, even though the first volumes were sold out a long time ago by HS Center. The writer of this article is also fortunate to have all volumes of HS. However, he can’t help but accepting that the first volumes are scanned copies, with the personal help of Nguyen Huu Chau Phan, a teacher, member of the Scientific Council, editor-in-chief of HS, from the remaining originals that he kept.

At the premiere of vol. 9, while waiting for the opening time, the publication was presented to the guests. Many people have taken advantage of searching the table of contents and scrolling through the articles that interest them the most.

And great minds think alike, they shared the same idea that HS deserved to be chosen by the province as a gift from Hue to friends, because it was not only luxurious and cultural, but also meaningful to promote Hue. Especially at a time when we are actively implementing Resolution 54 of the Politburo to build and develop Thua Thien Hue city into a centrally-managed city on the basis of promoting the value of the ancient capital heritage and Hue cultural identity. 

The hope for this idea to become a reality was boosted when the Standing Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, Mr. Phan Ngoc Tho – who was present at the premiere of vol 9. of HS – highly appreciated the value of the publication and suggested the promotion of HS to be present in the “Hue Bookcase” to Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, Head of the Province's Cultural sector. 

Mr. Phan Ngoc Tho also expressed his wish that HS would continue its flow after vol. 9 instead of stopping here. A gift from Hue, which is a series of books as thick and valuable as HS’s, is really “worth the money”. It is hoped that this interesting idea will not fade with time after the release of vol 9.