marcel barang

The clean dozen

In English, Reading matters on 16/11/2012 at 4:22 pm

Why such a long absence from this blog? Quite simply because I’ve been awfully busy not only feeding the bilingual blog (‘Love game in four acts’ by Wutisant Chantwiboon just came online last night, superseding Ussiri Dharmachoti [Atsiri Thammachoat]’s ‘The cats, the drunk and the beggar’, and three more are in various states of undress offstage) but putting together the usual end-of-year collection, which must this year consist of twelve stories.

Here is the cover:

And here is that clean dozen (with year of publication in Thai between brackets):

Arnon’s death – WIWAT LERTWIWATWONGSA (2012)

The funeral investor – KAJOHNRIT RAGSA (1999)

Faux amis – JARUN YANG-YUEN  (2007)

The destination – JIRAT CHALERMSANYAKORN (2009)

Wailing sea, grieving wind – USSIRI DHARMACHOTI (1992)

Dog-mess village – SAENGSATTHA NA PLAIFA (2011)

The bridge – WATN YUANGKAEW (2008)

The three-eyed boy who happened to fall down to Earth –
           MAHANNOP CHOMCHALAO (1992)

The madman of Lucky Star village – UTHEN WONGJANDA (2008)

Fake – SOMPHONG THAWEE (1993)

Social phobia – SAMPHAN RARUENROM (1995)

Genesis – THONGCHAI PHANDEE (1995)

Most stories have been sculled from that much regretted cornucopia of short fiction, Chor Karrakeit, which I’ve undertaken to pillage in earnest – the rule of thumb being ten to one: ten stories read for one selected (on lucky days…). A few of the more contemporary have been sent to me by their authors. Indeed, I still don’t know if the lead story, Wiwat’s ‘Arnon’s death’, has been published during the year in some Thai newspaper or magazine at all, as it should.

We are still a month and a half away from the end of the year, the e-book is formatted, but experience has taught me plenty of time is needed to attend to the non-literary side of things, in particular the tracking down of authors, to inform them of what’s up, ask for permission to publish and/or a few details about themselves and their work for the short presentation at the end of each piece.

This year, half of the authors have been easy to contact. Emails have been sent to others and are awaiting reply, but as of today I’ve yet to locate the Pink Man, poet Somphong Thawee, whose ‘Fake’ is obviously une œuvre de jeunesse, perhaps inspired by the racy writings of early ’Rong Wongsawan, and sci-fi writer Thongchai Phandee, whose versified ‘Genesis’ aptly ends on a sidereal vista this hotchpotch of crime, corruption, phobia, decay and tall tales.

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