Last night I finished reading that copy of Chor Karrakeit 49 Siriworn Kaewkan and Kanthorn Aksornnam brought me earlier this week and found I like none of the eleven short stories in it, although the four last ones seemed better than the rest, and two of those – incidentally, with complementary titles: ‘The postman’ (Burut Praisanee) by Laweing Banjasunthorn and ‘Addresses’ (Thee Yoo) by Sukamon Rungbun – almost worth translating.
As it happens, those two short stories were nicely complemented this morning by the topic of this week’s London Review of Books’ Diary, a lively account of the British Royal Mail’s masters’ ruthless legerdemain penned by postman Roy Mayall (http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n18/maya01_.html). Reading the latter account makes Laweing Banjasunthorn’s imaginings even more fanciful and romantic.
Putting the volume on the shelf, I realised that I have yet to buy, borrow or steal Chor Karrakeit issues 47 and 48 to make the resurrected series almost complete (the very first issues of the last century have long been out of reach).
As for Issue 46, it is exceptionally thick and meaty, as Editor Suchart Sawatsi gathered a total of 24 stories by two dozen top writers, from Bunsong Bamrungphong (Seinee Saowaphong) to Saksiri Meesomsuep. It must have been a mighty effort that tired the editor, because this usually impeccable publication has this time a few misprints here and there, including one in a title page (p183).
The quality of the contributions varies but is generally high, as befits renowned writers.
Actually, I’ve already translated two of the stories for eventual publication in the Bangkok Post – ‘The morning market in front of the housing estate’ (Talart Chao Na Moobarn) by Niweit Kanthairart and ‘Goodwill’ (Narmjai) by Tak Wong-rat – and another three might follow: Arjin Panjaphan’s ‘erotic’ ‘Mr Phitsadarn’s love’ (Khwarmrak Khong Nai Phitsadarn); ‘Kleepkaeo’ by the regretted ’Rong Wongsawan; and ‘The minister’ (Ratthamontree) by Wisa Khanthap. A few were definite disappointments, but no need to name names.
PS: I’ve just ended the Skype experiment: it slowed down my computer so much that I couldn’t make this posting, arguably at a non-rush hour.