“The old town” and the change of times

“The Old Quarter” is a gift from the Young that I won in the giveaway, and also the first book by author Nguyen Viet Ha that I read. To be honest, the process of reading “The Old Quarter” is quite difficult, sometimes I think it’s because the way this book came to me is too difficult?! No more rambling jokes, I won’t keep you guys waiting long to reveal the interesting and not so interesting things about this book!
“The Old Quarter” has an evocative name that both makes people curious to open and read a book with this name, what it will be written about, what it will be about, and just right. Eager to know what the old town is like, how is it different from other streets. Nguyen Viet Ha is a genuine Ha Thanh, who has both a proud style, a player, and a good understanding of poetry and history books, this only needs to go through nearly 300 pages of “The Old Quarter” to be able to understand. see statue. However, perhaps because he is a guy full of nostalgia, the author’s perspective is too inclined to old values, often too flattering to men, even somewhat biased. , even when looking directly at the bad habits of men, they still make excuses, and the rest are too stubborn to put women in the lower shoulders.

“The Old Quarter” is not only about children, but the magazine is divided into three parts, the first part is about women and men (of course!), the second part is about girls and women, and the last part is about love, love, and a couple of articles about culture. Almost every article by Nguyen Viet Ha in this pamphlet is filled with the nostalgic spirit and romance of a lone wanderer. In the section about boys, men and conspirators, he spends many pages talking about men who were born in the heart of Hanoi – a place that is still known today as the “old town”, from the old town. “old cowboy”, “breakfast man”, “man in battle”, “art worker”, he gradually paints a portrait of a group of men who grew up in the old town, where they mostly like being born into old bourgeois or merchant families, with diligent, skillful, good-looking mothers and sisters, generally full of old Asian womanhood, good at poetry. , live leisurely, and luxuriantly. They are often in Nguyen Viet Ha’s eyes the advisors, not just the leprechauns, they see it all, understand it all, but often don’t use it if it’s not necessary. But for them, women are both to enjoy and praise, but also to look at the bad habits and avoid. Nguyen Viet Ha seems to write too much about masculinity, so the femininity in the author’s writing keeps being blurred and weakened. Although Nguyen Viet Ha has many words for women, many merits, and five times seven times expressing his admiration, the author clearly still puts the feminine below the masculine. , still puts the feminine in the position of needing to be protected, to be guided, to be led by the masculine. This is also the reason why it took me so long to finish reading this book. Honestly, as someone who lives and works according to the values ​​of equality and justice, it’s hard for me to accept the fact that femininity is being relegated over and over again. Although I tried to separate to maintain objectivity when reading, it was difficult to understand. Saying that so that readers will have a multi-dimensional view of this book, if you are a person who lives according to ancient Asian values, then what Nguyen Viet Ha wrote in “The Old Quarter” Perhaps it will make you more satisfied, more enjoyable.
But there is one more thing that I find quite interesting in Nguyen Viet Ha, that is, the author almost never evades the evils and infamy of reality. If in the first half of the book, it was difficult for me to adapt to the author’s views on masculinity and femininity, in the second half, Nguyen Viet Ha’s views on art, society, and life made me think. get a lot. He borrowed the old story to satirize society with many grotesques, deceptions, and lies. He borrowed the story of the gentleman in the ancient legends to attack the vile, cowardly, greedy people in today’s society. He borrowed the stories of his predecessors to poke fun at the hypocrisy in modern society, to talk about love that reeks of money in the era of the market economy. Reading this far, I suddenly realized that Nguyen Viet Ha seems to be a nostalgic guy clinging to the good old values ​​that he daily sees them fade away before his eyes. And also here, as a nostalgic person, I feel sympathy and respect for him a lot, although the first half of the book I disagree with him, but in the second half, I find sympathy.

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