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Existentialism and Intellectual Culture in South Vietnam

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 March 2014


Among the eclecticism and diversity of the intellectual marketplace in 1960s Saigon, frequent discussions of existentialism stand out. In popular scholarly journals and literary reviews, such as Bách khoa and Đại học, intellectuals, such as Nguyễn Văn Trung and Trần Thái Đỉnh, analyzed the relevance of the works of Malraux, Camus, and Sartre to Buddhism and to the situation of war-torn Vietnam. This article considers two possible reasons why existentialism appealed to intellectuals in South Du's Vietnam. First, it examines whether Vietnamese existentialists were searching for equivalency with Western nations. Second, it discusses how these authors saw existentialism as a useful way to refuse both capitalist and communist political positions.

Research Article
Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2014 

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