This article examines the problematization of, and the proposed solutions to, cultural métissage in the first published Vietnamese Francophone novel, Le roman de mademoiselle Lys (1921). It investigates how the author, Nguyen Phan Long, founder of the Constitutionalist Party of Cochinchina, uses French syntax as a rhetorical means of disciplining Vietnamese women in French Indochina. I interpret his use of French literary traditions of novelistic and fictionalized diary-writing to impose Confucian ideals on Vietnamese women, and read his mirroring of French “diary-novels” as a reflection of his desire to respond to journaux-romans and their French male authors.
Read the article: Angelica Pisey So, “Nguyen Phan Long’s Le roman de mademoiselle Lys: ‘L’éducation de nos filles’ in Colonial French Indochina”.
Image: Rebecca Klein, DatASIA Press