The intellectual paths of two Vietnamese sinologists, Nguyen Huy Quy and Phan Van Cac, tell a distinctive history of Confucian scholarship in Vietnam. Through their intellectual growth, we hope to show how humanities have survived political upheavals of and between the two countries and returned in the process of national reform. The perseverance of humanist concerns demonstrates the relevance of individual determination in the evolution of Vietnamese scholarship on China, indicating an epistemological agency to transcend politics. Three particular aspects emerge as critical in the evolution of their scholarship: family, travelling, and determination. The mechanisms of historical cycles, strategic silencing, self-learning, and human judgment connect the individual paths to the larger historical context of Vietnamese sinology.
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