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Bangkok a Cultural and Literary History : SIGNAL BOOKS - O'Neil Maryvelma

Bangkok a Cultural and Literary History


Paperback Published: 14th December 2012
ISBN: 9781904955399
Number Of Pages: 256

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Bangkok stands out as a place of extraordinary allure. Beginning as a floating city in a lush tropical setting, known to foreigners as the "Venice of the East", centuries later, its majestic Grand Palace and glittering Buddhist temples would compete for the horizon with Western chimneystacks. Chinese immigration and investment and Indian commerce have also visibly marked the cityscape, where great ethnic diversity is represented in the world-famous Thai cuisine. The capital of the Kingdom of Thailand, founded and shaped by Chakri monarchs, was altered by nationalistic monuments in new public spaces after the 1932 coup ended absolute rule. Development plans of the 1960s and arriviste money of the 1980s gave rise to a jungle of skyscrapers on its alluvial plain.Serious urban challenges now beset this Asian Tiger that hovers between First World and Third. Fascinating pockets of traditional indigenous life percolate under a surface of modernity, while fragments of intense beauty and sensation abound in the labyrinthine lanes and alleys that replaced canals. Bangkok bears the longest city name in the world: forty-three syllables. Locals have shortened it to Krung Thep which means City of Angels. Maryvelma ONeil explores their city - rich in art, history, royal ceremony and tradition. This is a city of royalty, Buddhism and trade - Grand Palace of the King of Siam; tinkling temple bells; spirit houses; citadel of independence from Western colonialism; the worlds last absolute monarch; boom and bust; sex supermarket. It features amphibious life; houseboats, junks and shacks; boat poems; the original Siamese twins; traditional Thai homes; a "stream of poison"; the Oriental Hotel.It is a city of immigrants and foreigners - Chinatown; Brahminic rituals and Hindu shrines; missionaries and merchants; Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham; Anna Leonowens and King Mongkut; Italian architects and artists; the American Silk King; Thai cuisine.

From Floating City to Post-Modern Megalopolisp. 1
City of Kings
Sukhothai and Ayudhyap. 44
The Grand Palacep. 53
The River of Kingsp. 74
Klongs of Thonburip. 86
Rajdamnern Avenue (Ratchadamnoen Avenue)p. 96
City of Temples and Shrines
Wat Arunp. 112
Wat Phop. 116
Wat Saket and the Golden Mountp. 121
Erawan Shrinep. 128
City of Merchants and Missionaries
Sampheng Lanep. 134
New Roadp. 150
Strangers in a Strange Landp. 159
The Oriental Hotelp. 175
City of Art and Food
Silpa Bhirasri Memorial Foundationp. 190
M. R. Kukrit Pramoj Heritage Homep. 195
Jim Thompson Museum Housep. 202
Thai Foodp. 210
City of Modernity
Modern Cityscapep. 194
Siamese "Soul" Music and the Culture of the Second Xylophonep. 230
Glossaryp. 235
Further Readingp. 237
Chronology of Chakri Dynasty
Index of Literary & Historical Namesp. 241
Index of Places & Landmarksp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781904955399
ISBN-10: 1904955398
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 14th December 2012
Publisher: Signal Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 13.3  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.4