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Kck pon ustourapril2011a

Kck pon ustourapril2011a






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    Kck pon ustourapril2011a Kck pon ustourapril2011a Presentation Transcript

    • What is Khun Chang Khun Phaen?
      • Best known, most original, most controversial classic in Thai
      • An epic narrative in 21,000 lines
      • Probably developed in C17-18 in Siam
    • “ Please forgive me. I’ve fallen in love and into utter confusion. I’ve had to put up with this torture for days. I want to put my life in your hands. I’m like a rabbit that wants to enjoy the moon. He’s stuck on the ground because he can’t fly. What he wants is so far away in the sky, he pines and mopes until his body wastes away. Only Lord Indra can put him out of his misery by letting him romp with the heavenly rabbit in the moon. Little Phim is like the rabbit. You are like Indra . I’m counting on you. Maybe two rabbits can taste the joys of heaven together. Please help. Get me out of this darkness and gloom. Save me from dashing to an early death. I’m not using words lightly. I’ll help and support you from today until you die.” Phlai Kaeo (Khun Phaen)
    • “ I’m not listening to this. You’ll get my back striped. I’ve never acted as a go-between before. If we put a foot wrong, the scandal will be as loud as the troops in a mask play. All that stuff about Phim being like a rabbit in heaven is very clever. But I’ve never seen two rabbits in the moon. If Indra went to the aid of a miserable rabbit, he’d be found at fault all over the world. And the moon would be tarnished by the romping. I’m too scared. I won’t get the meat to eat or the skin to sit on, only the bones hung around my neck. If you get Phim, you’ll be all smiles. But it’s me who’ll suffer the shouting and the shame. It’s like killing a snake but not getting to eat snake curry because some hawk or crow swoops down and snatches it away. From now on, stop thinking and hoping. This is not something you nibble. One bite and you die. ” Saithong (Phim’s maid)
      • A great story
      • History of the text
      • Mirror and manual
      • Storehouse of culture
      • Presence today
      • This translation
    • A great story
    • A great story
      • Two men (Khun Chang and Khun Phaen) compete over one woman (Wanthong)
      • Khun Chang gets the upper hand because he is rich and has connections to the king
      • To fight back, Khun Phaen equips himself with supernatural powers
      • Battles, intrigue, court cases, mayhem
      • King executes Wanthong as the root cause
    • Local and realistic, 1
      • Of Thai origin — unlike many Thai classics
        • Ramakian : from India
        • Three Kingdoms : from China
        • Inao : from Java
      • Mon and Khmer versions probably derivative
    • Local and realistic, 2
      • Ordinary people, realistic plot
        • not the fantastic exploits of gods and kings
      • Social panorama
        • main characters from provincial gentry
        • king and nobles
        • servants, monks, hunters, hillfolk, boatmen, market traders, criminals
    • Local and realistic, 3 “ KCKP is crucial for understanding Thai society today.” Saichol Sattayanurak “ It is not ‘about Buddhism’ qua Buddhism, but it is about Thai life, loves, enmities, beliefs, and rituals, through all of which Buddhist ideas and practices run... It is an outstanding work of Asian and world literature, a masterpiece that is fun to read.” Peter Skilling
    • History of the text
    • ? true story 1600 developed by storytellers
    • History of the text 1
      • Developed in an oral tradition of recitation for popular entertainment
      • Fast-paced storytelling
      • Rapid shift from romance to tragedy to farce
      • Sex, violence, magic
    • History of the text 2
      • Storytellers never tell the same way twice
      • Improvise to please audience
      • Popular stories grow in length
    • ? true story 1600 developed by storytellers samut thai mss adopted by court
    • Samut thai – around 300
    • ? true story 1600 developed by storytellers samut thai mss revision in RII salon adopted by court
    • ? true story 1600 developed by storytellers samut thai mss revision in RII salon palace collection c. 1850 Smith 1872 adopted by court Wat Ko 1889
    • Smith, 1872
    • Wat Ko, Sampheng, 1889
    • ? true story, 1600 developed by storytellers samut thai mss revision in RII salon palace collection c. 1850 Smith 1872 Damrong edition, 1917-18 adopted by court Khru Jaeng additions Wat Ko 1889
    • Standard edition
      • Standard edition edited by Prince Damrong, 1917–18
      • In print ever since
    • Mirror and manual
    • Mirror and manual, 1
      • Works developed in repeated interplay between performer and audience come to reflect the tastes and values of the society
      • Cf. Greek myths, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Norse sagas, Tale of Hekke, etc.
    • Mirror and Manual, 2
      • Can be read as manuals for living
      • Relationships, ceremonies, food, dangers, etc
      • Major lesson on the important of learning
    • Two key themes
      • Situation of women in a society where power is totally in hands of men
      • The ordinary man pitted against wealth and power
    • “ Oh, the misfortune of being born a woman! I should be happy but I cannot be. I went astray in love’s pleasures without thinking of shame. Because I wasn’t strong-willed, I now suffer. It’s a waste to have beautiful looks, a pretty name, and a gentle manner if you have a terribly wicked heart. The good in me is the best in the land; the bad, nobody can match.” Wanthong
    • The situation of women, 1
      • Wanthong is the central character
      • Triangle starts as rich vs. poor, handsome vs. ugly
      • Becomes about what woman gets from a man
    • The situation of women, 1
      • Wanthong is the central character
      • Triangle starts as rich vs. poor, handsome vs. ugly
      • Becomes about what woman gets from a man
        • Khun Phaen: romance, adventure, child
        • but no protection, no security
    • The situation of women, 1
      • Wanthong is the central character
      • Triangle starts as rich vs. poor, handsome vs. ugly
      • Becomes about what woman gets from a man
        • Khun Phaen: romance, adventure, child
        • but no protection, no security
        • Khun Chang: comfort, wealth, protection
        • but no romance
    • “ My love for Khun Phaen is a great love because we shared such hardship going into the forest together. We lacked everything but loved and cherished each other. All the time I lived with Khun Chang, he said not one harsh word, heaped money on me and me alone, and placed servants at my beck and call as if they were my own.” Wanthong
    • The situation of women, 2
      • Women probably a majority in the audience for recitation
        • men on corvée, military service, monkhood, trading
      • Reciters may have been women
        • strong female role in other local performance genres
      • Recording in Ang Thong 1950 from “middle-aged woman”
    • Everyman vs. wealth and power, 1
      • Khun Phaen: family ruined after father executed by king
      • Khun Chang: probably richest man in Suphanburi
        • wealth from trade in timber and forest products
        • status as keeper of king’s elephants
        • connections at court as royal page
    • “ You thought I had only low rank and little of any kind of property so you could act highhandedly and I wouldn’t have the standing to pursue you in court. Your new son-in-law [Khun Chang] is such a big fellow, overflowing with so much property, and so many elephants and horses, that you conspired together to treat me roughly with no respect. You think I deserve to be cut to pieces like this just because I’m poor.” Khun Phaen to Wanthong’s mother
    • Everyman vs. wealth and power, 2
      • Khun Chang uses power of his money and court connections to seize Wanthong
      • Khun Phaen draws on wild power, lore ( saiyasat , supernaturalism) as counter
      • Abducts Wanthong, flees to forest, becomes an outlaw
    • Storehouse of culture
    • Storehouse of Thai culture
      • “ ... if all other information on traditional Thai culture were to be lost, the whole complex could be reconstructed from this marvellous text.” (William F. Gedney)
    • Storehouse of Thai culture
      • Birth (4)
      • Marriage (2)
      • Cremation (2)
      • Ordination (2)
      • Songkran festival
      • Mahachat performance
      • Khwan ceremonies (4)
      • Topknot shaving
      • Spirit beliefs
      • Eye-level shrine
      Royal court protocol Diplomatic practice Official posts and practice Judicial procedure Trial by ordeal (fire/water) Military recruitment Elephant lore Astrology Saiyasat Weaponry Warfare Dress Jewelry Food Cursing
    • Riak khwan – soul calling
    • At dusk, they made a baisi with pussbosom flowers, water peony, and gem jasmine. Rice, fish, sweets, and savories were placed on salvers . T hey all bowed to pay respect and chanted for the benefit of Phlai Ngam’s soul. “ Soul of Phlai Ngam, beloved, come behold these brilliant golden trays, scented sandal and garland sprays. Soul, don’t stray to forest, hill, and lea with lion, monkey, sambar, tiger. Don’t wander, all alone and lonely. Come to grandma’s home, be merry, and prosper in safety a hundred years.” . Phlai Ngam welcomed at Kanburi
    • Preparing for battle
    • His chest was tattooed with a picture of Phra Mokkhala, his back with a Phakhawam image with eyes closed, and his flanks with a na formula for stunning. He had a jet gem embedded in his head, golden needles in each shoulder, a large diamond in the middle of his forehead, a lump of fluid metal in his chest, and herbal amber and cat’s eye in his back. He brought amulets, takrut , and a Phakhawam image, filled a bath with river water, put in the charms and herbs, and used a formula to make the water boil as if over a fire. He put on a takrut , glistening mercury charm, diamond ring that sparkled like a star, and daubed enchanted whiteclay powder on his forehead. Picking up his lance, he strode forward to leap on the back of his magnificent horse. Saentri Phetkla, military commander of Chiang Mai