Download Disturbing Conventions: Decentering Thai Literary Cultures by Rachel V. Harrison PDF
By Rachel V. Harrison
Disturbing Conventions attracts the examine of Thai literature out of the relative isolation that has thus far impeded its participation within the wider box of comparative and international literature. Predominantly penned by means of Thai teachers, the gathering decentres Thai literary reports so that it will movement past the traditionalist, conservative matters of the academy that have, until eventually fairly lately, foreclosed using “Western” idea within the learn of Thai literature.
The e-book introduces new frames of study to the learn of Thai literature to deliver it into discussion with debates in wider fields and the realm past its nationwide borders. consequently, Disturbing Conventions deals an important contribution to the comparative learn of global literature and Asian cultural studies.
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Extra info for Disturbing Conventions: Decentering Thai Literary Cultures
We are given to understand that Thai culture has nothing but rich heritage, delicate sophistication and a heightened sense of aesthetics. This effect is achieved . . through the novel’s association of Thainess and Thai culture with the courtly culture of the upper classes. As part of this courtly culture, the Thai women in the novel are largely featured as engaged in decorative tasks. . The only Thai women in our imaginations are those such as Mae Phloi who appear in various contexts, be it in the promotional brochures of Thailand’s Tourist Board (TAT), the calendars of Thai International Airways, Thai cookery books with their pictures of women clad in traditional attire and engaged in carving fruit and vegetables.
Similarly, he expresses a distrust of Barthes’s “irreverential” concept of the “death of the author”, mourning the fact that “the confidence in the power of language and of the text transforms into a resistance to the greatness of the author” (Chetana 2009, 22). Although on occasion Chetana reluctantly accepts the possibility of a sparse use of Western theory (“I occasionally make references to theoretical writings, particularly those of Western scholars”, [Chetana 1996, 245]), his overall perspective is a “dismissive” one, encapsulated by his reference to “Western jargon” that does not “quite fit into the Thai way of thinking and the Thai cultural context” (Chetana 1996, 257).
Since many traditional texts had been lost in the destruction of Ayutthaya, their restoration in the early stages of Chakri rule formed part of a symbolic claim to legitimacy. Hence the recomposition of the Ramakian (Ramayana) by the first Chakri monarch, King Rama I (r. 1782–1809), was undertaken as an assertion of the moral credibility of both the new 14 Introduction capital and its ruler. Literary production became indelibly linked to the project of power and authority. 15 Vajiravudh’s own inclination to deploy literary creation to this end is evidenced, for example, by the short stories he penned in his Tales of Mr Thong-in (Nithan Thong-in) collection of detective fiction (see also Thosaeng in this volume).