Nhan Van Giai Pham

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Nhân Văn Giai Phẩm was a North Vietnamese dissident literary movement. Lasting from 1955 to 1958, it fought for political and creative freedom, and tried to critique the many abuses of the Vietnamese Communist Party.

Initiated in 1955 by a group of writers, it emanated from two Hanoi journals, Nhân Văn [Humanism], edited by Phan Khôi, and Giai Phẩm [Beautiful Works], hence the name Nhân Văn Giai Phẩm. The writers associated with the movement include Phan Khôi, Trần Dần, Lê Đạt, Đặng Đình Hưng, Hoàng Cầm, Phùng Cung, Phùng Quán, Nguyễn Hữu Đang, Thụy An, Hoàng Huê, Hoàng Tích Linh, Hoàng Tố Nguyên, Hoàng Yến, Hữu Loan, Hữu Thung, Huy Phương, Chu Ngọc, Lê Đại Thanh, Nguyễn Khắc Dực, Nguyễn Thành Long, Nguyễn Văn Tý, Như Mai, Phan Vũ, Quang Dũng, Sĩ Ngọc, Thanh Bình, Trần Công, Trần Đức Thảo, Trần Duy, Trần Lê Văn, Trần Thiếu Bảo, Trần Thịnh and even Văn Cao, composer of the national anthem (for North Vietnam before 1975, all of Vietnam since). Nhân Văn Giai Phẩm was snuffed out by June of 1958, with all of its writers jailed and/or censored. Nguyễn Hữu Đang, a key member of the movement, was sentenced to 15 years of solitary confinement, then kept under special surveillance for 20 more years after release.

Occurring only four years after the establishment of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, this suppression paved the way for a state-controlled, monolithic Soviet literature, a situation that lasted until the policy of Đổi Mới [Renovation] in 1988 (13 years after reunification). During this era, very few writers managed to circulate their dissident writing. Among them were Nguyễn Chí Thiện and Trần Vàng Sao.

The website talawas has done an invaluable job of making the primary texts of Nhân Văn Giai Phẩm available online, starting with Trần Dần's poetry collection, jờ joạcx. Radio Free Asia has also devoted 11 programs to the movement.

Linh Dinh started this entry.

Nhân Văn Giai Phẩm online