Saga of a Broken Heart: Prologue

December 26, 2008 § 7 Comments



To Nhu’s Saga of a Broken Heart is a masterpiece of world literature. The fact that the novel dates back hundreds of years ago and was written entirely in verses makes it somewhat comparable to Homer’s epic poems. Unfortunately, the novel has had very little international exposure.

This is the reason why I intend to translate the epic work into English. But instead of translating the entire work, I’ll only translate selected parts and will insert narratives to move things along; you can consider this an abridged translation. I will also include alternate translations (by other translators) whenever possible. Note that my translation is aimed at the general audience and not the literary/cultural audience. 


Hundreds of years have passed,
But one thing remains.
Fate and beauty are natural foes.
As turbulances are Life’s norms,
What misery and sorrow can one be spared?
One word of advice:
Fortune and misfortune go in pair.
Let not look back and bemoan.

(tr. Simon N.)


Alternate translation:

Hundreds of years of human existence,
Prodigy and fate intertwined in conflicts,
Mulberry fields turned into open sea,
Enough’s been seen to melt the heart.
Little wonder that beauty begets misery,
For Blue Heaven’s jealous of exquisite glamour!

To be continued…


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