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Thai Literature as Reflected in Western Reports during the 17th to the 19th Centuries

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Thai literature is a reflects the beauty of Thai language, deep human insight, artistic finesse, as well as themes often revolving around the value of respect and Buddhist teachings. The world, however, has yet been that well-acquainted with the Thai literary compendium.


This paper explores the relative neglect of the many Thai literary forms by early visitors and scholars who were often perceptive recorders of many aspects of pre-modem culture. The relative brief stays in the kingdom by many of the visitors, lack of linguistic facility and sometimes biases of these travelers led them, for the most part to give a very superficial account of Thai literature.


Today, we take you on a deeper look into Thai literature, and what these travelers might have missed.


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Author: Klaus Wenk


* This article was published in the Journal of Siam Society and is being shared on the Thailand Foundation Website with permission from The Siam Society.