marcel barang

Yeah, right!

In English, French, Reading matters on 02/02/2015 at 7:28 pm

Reading this morning in the Bangkok Post the review of my anthology 14 Thai short stories – 2014, I realised why it took eight weeks for the paper to come up with one: the editor must have had some trouble finding the right person and, de guerre lasse, must have decided to make do with Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana’s copy.

Ms Pimrapee T may be an excellent cub journalist. I’m not familiar with her writings, but judging from this text, it is quite clear she’ll never be a literary critic as she has no time for real literature, even though she got one thing right: the first and last stories are the best.

She dismisses no fewer than eight of the fourteen stories, to ‘be skipped altogether’ as a waste of her precious time. That this isn’t quite right isn’t just my impression. One friend, after reading her book review, wires back: ‘At last, but is it a balanced review?’ Another: ‘I found the article a bit strange — but let’s hope it helps you sell lots of copies anyway.’ (Yeah, right.) And a third: « Je ne sais pas si c’est moi, mais il m’a paru un peu sec. » You don’t say.

  1. Mate, I read your book. Sorry to say the Post went easy on you. Your book sucks.

  2. I would have to disagree with Mr Summerholder’s comment and say that the anthology, though a bit uneven at times, is still a gratifying read and gives interesting insights into today’s Thai literary world. The first and last stories, by Wiwat “Filmsick” Lertwiwatwongsa and Saneh Sangsuk, alone justify buying this anthology and most of the other stories read pleasantly well. Mr Barang’s work has to be commended for its outstanding quality and attentive rendition of each writer’s voice. There are only too few translations of Thai contemporary writers out there and I for one won’t bite the hand that feeds me. Keep it up Marcel!

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