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Histoires des pays d'or
Stories from the Land of Gold
Jean Marcel
Wonderful stories handed down through the generations.
208 pages, 15x21 cm
ISBN: 978-2919-12253-0
19 €  21,90 $  790 THB
Had it not been for their literary genre, which prompted the author to use the word "histoires" (stories) rather than "contes" (tales) or "nouvelles" (short stories), the narratives presented here have in common the fact that they are funny or edifying, moral or philosophical, some drawn from Siamese history itself and all, for the pleasure of telling - or listening to the telling - resemble the legends or fables of our childhood.
But for the Westerner, steeped in Christian culture, the analogy ends there. For these exotic storytellers have little use for lecturing us. Morality - as we understand it - is hardly present here.
Cunning prevails over probity. The simony of monks, the debauchery of a few boors or the shenanigans of old men in search of fresh company are often rewarded. And the opposite can also be true, with unexpected virtue hidden in some mischief. There's a fine line between good and evil in these golden lands.
And there you have the illustration of the singularity of these peoples which, under Jean Marcel's apparent detachment, impudently flies in the face of our understanding.
For our greatest pleasure.
Can be read independently from Volume 2.

Jean Marcel is a medievalist, essayist and novelist. After a prolific academic career as a teacher and researcher, he made Thailand his adopted country, where he continues to reflect on his work, for which he has received several literary awards. In the same genre as the present book, he published Des nouvelles de Nouvelle-France (1994). Jean Marcel died in Bangkok on June 30, 2019.
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