Lao literature Under the Royal Lao Government era

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Throughout the Royal Lao Government era, scholars such as Pierre Somchine Nginn and Maha Sila Viravongs continued to transcribe important works of traditional Lao literature which had not previously been available to the general public; many of these were subsequently published under the auspices of the Lao Literary Committee (fore-runner of the Lao Royal Academy, established in 1951) and the newly-established Vientiane General Library (later the National Library).

During the same period traditional literature was also used extensively by the Pathet Lao resistance to convey its political message to the Lao people, teaching proper behaviour and demonstrating the evils of feudal rule and foreign domination. This period also saw the publication of Maha Sila Viravongs' Phongsawadan Lao ('History of Laos', 1957) and Lao Language Dictionary (1962).

Despite the deteriorating political situation, the 1960s were an era of considerable literary creativity. Dedicated cultural magazines such as Peun Keo (Best Friend), Muang Lao, Phainam and Khouan Heuane (Soul of the House) were published and short stories and novels became increasingly popular.
Leading poets of the period included Maha Sila Viravongs, Thao Ken, Nouhak Sitthimorada and Maha Phoumi Chittaphong.

During the latter years of the Royal Lao Government period the novels of Outhine Bounyavong (1942-2000), Dara Viravongs (Douang Champa, b 1940), Pakian Viravongs (Pa Nay, b 1942), Douangdeuane Viravongs (Dok Ked, b 1947) and Seree Nilamay (Seriphap, 1949-2001) began to move Lao literature into the realms of social commentary and criticism. Other emerging novelists and poets of this period included Houmphanh Rattanavong (b 1939), Pho Phouangsaba (1940-2004), Saisuwan Phengphong (b 1943) and Soukhy Norasinh (b 1946).
Meanwhile in the mountainous north of the country the earliest revolutionary literature took the form of articles and reports detailing the patriotism and self-sacrifice of ordinary people for the cause of the revolution.

By the mid 1960s these had evolved into short revolutionary stories and poems by authors such as future President Phoumi Vongvichit (1909-1994, Pathet Lao Suai Ngam Lae Hang Mee, ‘Beautiful and Rich Lao Land’), Souvanthone Bouphanouvong (1925-2003, Kong Phan Thisong, ‘Second Battalion’), Khamlieng Phonsena (b 1933, Xi Noi), Chanthy Deuansavanh (b 1940, Senthang Sivith, ‘Road to Life’) and future SEAWrite Award-winner Theap Vongpakay (Dao Neua, b 1945). The earliest works by these authors were published in the Lao Hak Xat newspaper and subsequently in book form.