Nguyễn Du (1766-1820) was a brilliant poet and cultural figure in the early Lê and Nguyễn dynasties of Vietnam. He is widely revered as the “National Poet Laureate” (Đại Thi hào Dân tộc) and honored by UNESCO as a “World Cultural Figure” (Danh Nhân Văn Hóa Thế Giới).
His epic poem, The Tale of Kiều, is considered a literary masterpiece, one of the most representative achievements in medieval Vietnamese literature. It remains imbued with influence in contemporary Vietnamese thought and culture. It is safe to say that one cannot truly learn modern Vietnamese language and culture without learning The Tale of Kiều.
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