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Title: The Pursuit of Java: Thai Panji Stories, Melayu Lingua Franca and the Question of Translation
Keywords: Thai poetry, Panji, Melayu Lingua Franca, Phra Mahamontri, Khun Suwan, Chulalongkorn
Issue Date: 6-May-2008
Citation: DAVISAKD PUAKSOM (2008-05-06). The Pursuit of Java: Thai Panji Stories, Melayu Lingua Franca and the Question of Translation. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The thesis is premised on the argument that the Panji tales have constituted the bedrock of traditional Thai epistemologies about Indonesia. After a brief survey of the Panji romances in the Javanese literary tradition as well as the Melayu world, the Thai Panji texts are discussed with the aid of summaries and translations. Questions of authorship and translation are posited within the Thai literary context, and substantial attention is paid to the role of Melayu as a lingua franca mediating the translation process.In the representations of Java found in the Thai Panji texts, there is a clear predominance of Hindu-Buddhist cosmologies despite the presence of Islam at the time of their inscription. This is discussed at length together with the technologies of (mis)recognition, disguise and its effects that accompany it in the texts.The tales enjoyed great popularity in the world of Thai literature and theatrical performance. The Bangkok elite, in fact, become obsessed with their Panji/Javanese element. But such obsession in turn inspired a subversive form of the tales in which the Panji sign was displaced. The phantasm of a foreign tongue even gave rise to a version that can be characterized as a b lunaticb dream of the empty-sign.Finally, the thesis tackles King Chulalongkornb s journeys to Java and his search for the origins of the Panji tales. This preoccupation, together with European Orientalist influences, shaped the Thai eliteb s unique emplotment of Javanese history.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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