During the 19th and the 20th centuries in particular the Seine inspired many artists, including:
A song 'La Seine' by Flavien Monod and Guy Lafarge was written in 1948.
Josephine Baker recorded a song 'La Seine'
A song 'La seine' by Vanessa Paradis feat. Matthieu Chedid was originally written as a soundtrack for the movie 'A Monster in Paris'
After graduating at the top of his class in 1921, Dim followed in the footsteps of his eldest brother, Ng nh Khi, joining the civil service in Tha Thin as a junior official. Starting from the lowest rank of mandarin, Dim steadily rose over the next decade. He first served at the royal library in Hu, and within one year was the district chief in both Tha Thin and nearby Qung Tr province, presiding over seventy villages. Dim was promoted to be a provincial chief (Tun ph) in Ninh Thun at the age of 28, overseeing 300 villages.
During his career as a mandarin, Dim was reputable for his workaholism and incorruptibility, a Catholic leader and nationalist. Besides, Catholic nationalism in Vietnam during 1920s and 1930s facilitated Dim's ascent in his bureaucratic career. Dim's rise was also supported through Ng nh Khi's marriage to the daughter of Nguyn Hu Bi (18631935), the Catholic head of the Council of Ministers at the Hu court and also supported the indigenization of the Vietnamese Church and more administrative powers to the monarchy. Nguyn Hu Bi was highly regarded among the French, and Dim's religious and family ties impressed him and he became Dim's patron. The French were impressed by his work ethic but were irritated by his frequent calls to grant more autonomy to Vietnam. Dim replied that he contemplated resigning but encouragement from the populace convinced him to persist. In 1925, he first encountered communists distributing propaganda while riding horseback through the region near Qung Tr. Revolted by calls for violent socialist revolution contained in the propaganda leaflets, Dim involved himself in anti-communist activities for the first time, printing his own pamphlets.
In 1929, he was promoted to the governorship of Bnh Thun Province and was reputable for his work ethics. In 1930 and 1931, he helped the French suppress the first peasant revolts organized by the communists. According to Fall, Dim put the revolution down because he did not support the revolution, which he thought could not sweep out the French but might threaten the leadership of the mandarins. In 1933, with the return of Bo i to ascend the throne, Dim agreed Bo i's invitation to be his interior minister following lobbying by Nguyn Hu Bi. Soon after his appointment, Dim headed a commission to advise for potential administration reforms. After calling for the French to introduce a Vietnamese legislature and many other political reforms, he resigned after three months in office when this and other proposals were rejected. Dim denounced Emperor Bo i as "nothing but an instrument in the hands of the French", and renounced his decorations and titles from Bo i. The French then threatened him with arrest and exile.
For the next decade, Dim lived as a private citizen with his family in Hu, although he was kept under surveillance. He spent his time on reading, meditating, attending church, gardening, hunting, amateur photography. Besides, Dim also extensively conducted his nationalist activities during those 21 years, with meetings and correspondence with various leading Vietnamese revolutionaries, such as his friend, Phan Bi Chu, a Vietnamese anti-colonial activist, who Dim respected for his knowledge of Confucianism and argued that Confucianism's teachings could be applied to a modern Vietnam. With the start of the Second World War in the Pacific, seeing an opportunity for Vietnam to challenge French colonization from the presence of Japan, he attempted to persuade the Japanese forces to declare independence for Vietnam in 1942 but was ignored. Dim also tried to establish relationships with Japanese diplomats, army officers, and intelligence operatives who supported Vietnams independence. In 1943, Dim's Japanese friends helped him to contact Prince Cng , an anti-colonial activist, who was exiled in Japan. After contacting Cng , Dim formed a secret political party, the Association for the Restoration of Great Vietnam (Vit Nam i Vit Phc Hng Hi), which was dominated by his Catholic allies in Hue. When its existence was discovered in the summer of 1944, the French declared Dim to be a subversive and ordered his arrest. He flew to Saigon under Japanese military protection, staying there until the end of WWII.
In 1945, after the coup against French colonial rule, the Japanese offered Dim the post of prime minister in the Empire of Vietnam under Bo i, which they organized on leaving the country. He declined initially, but regretted his decision and attempted to reverse the offer. Nevertheless, Bo i had already given the post to Trn Trng Kim. In September 1945, after the Japanese withdrawal, H Ch Minh proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and in the Northern half of Vietnam, his Vit Minh began fighting the French. Dim attempted to travel to Hu to dissuade Bo i from joining H, but was arrested by the Vit Minh along the way and exiled to a highland village near the border. He might have died of malaria, dysentery and influenza had the local tribesmen not nursed him back to health. Six months later, he was taken to meet H, who recognized Dim's virtues and wanted to extend the support for his new government, and was asked to be minister of interior. But Dim refused to join the Vit Minh, assailing H for the murder of his brother Ng nh Khi by Vit Minh cadres.
During the Indochina War, Dim and other non-communist nationalists had to face a dilemma: they did not want to restore colonial rule and did not want to support the Vit Minh. Dim proclaimed his neutrality and attempted to establish a Third Force movement that was both anti-colonialist and anti-communist In 1947, he became the founder and chief of the National Union Bloc (Khi Quc Gia Lin Hip) and then folded it into the group Vietnam National Rally (Vit Nam Quc Gia Lin Hip), which gathered non-communist Vietnamese nationalists. He also established the relationships with some leading Vietnamese anti-communists like Nguyn Tn Hon (19172001), a fellow Catholic and political activist. His other allies and advisors were dominated by the Catholics, especially his family's members and their friends.
Besides, Dim also secretly maintained contact with Democratic Republic of Vietnam's high ranking leaders to convince them to leave H Ch Minh's government and join him. At the same time, he lobbied French colonial officials for a "true independence" for Vietnam, Nevertheless, Dim was disappointed when in June 1948, Bo i signed an agreement to grant Vietnam as an "associated state" within the French Union, which allowed France to maintain its diplomatic, economic and military policies in Vietnam. In the meantime, the French had started the State of Vietnam and Dim refused Bo i's offer to become the Prime Minister. On 16 June 1949, he then published a new manifesto in newspapers proclaiming a third force different from Vietminh and Bo i, but raised little interest and otherwise, his statement was evident to both the French and Vit Minh that Dim was a dangerous rival. In 1950, the Vit Minh lost patience and sentenced him to death in absentia, and the French refused to protect him. H Ch Minh's cadres tried to assassinate him while he was traveling to visit his elder brother Thc, bishop of the Vnh Long diocese in the Mekong Delta. Recognizing of his political status, Dim decided to leave Vietnam in 1950.
According to Miller, during his early career, there were at least three trends of ideologies which influenced Dim's social and political visions in the 1920s and 1930s. They were Catholic nationalism which Dim inherited from his familys tradition, especially from Cardinal Ng nh Thc, his brother and Nguyn Hu Bi, who advised him to "return the seal" in 1933 to oppose French policies. The second one was Dim's understanding of Confucianism, especially through his friendship with Phan Bi Chu who argued that Confucianism's teachings could be applied to a modern Vietnam. More importantly, during those years, instructed by Ng nh Nhu, Dim began to examine Personalism, which originated from French Catholicisms philosophy and then applied this doctrine as the main ideology of his regime.