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ISBN : 978-2-9191-22660

Format : 17 x 24 cm

Pages : 352

  PDF Overview

Siam d’hier, Thaïlande d’aujourd’hui
(Yesterday’s Siam, Today’s Thailand)

Patrick Binot, Jean Marcel and 31 authors | July 2014

Patrick Binot and Jean Marcel offer a selection of French texts dating from the seventeenth century up to the present day.
31 astute and often famous individuals present us with texts which illustrate, with clarity and precision, the rich and extraordinary history of relations between the Kingdom of Siam/Thailand and the French-speaking nations of the West. In each of the texts, the durability and continuity of the “Siamese soul” is emphasized.

The book

This is the first work of its kind to present the most important texts illustrating the long, dense history of relations between the Eastern Kingdom and the Frenchspeaking nations of the West (France, Belgium, Quebec, Switzerland). This anthology, the work of authors writing in the French language on old Siam and modern Thailand, takes the reader back to a flamboyant past (a past which at times appears to modern eyes somewhat idiosyncratic) of princes, diplomats, missionaries and the military. It goes on to outline a contemporary world where a domain, which had previously been the reserve of States and Churches, was now being taken over by explorers and visiting experts - buccaneering, scholarly, elitist, individualistic. Gradually the process has merged into today’s mass tourism which seeks to satisfy our insatiable appetite for exoticism. Jacques de Bourges and Simon de la Loubere through to Morgan Sportes via Paul Morand as well as many others - astute, precise and often famous writers - all have stories to tell about the rich and, in many respects, extraordinary history of Siam/Thailand. The texts are accompanied by an introduction from Patrick Binot and Jean Marcel and illustrations are included. The authors are able to reproduce those particular contexts existing at the time when they were writing and to convey a sense of the prevailing atmosphere then. Moreover, they reveal the enduring existence of what some have called "the soul of a people" across the ages.
A selection of 31 texts by Jacques de Bourges, Nicolas Gervaise, Alexandre de Chaumont, François-Timoléon de Choisy, Claude de Forbin, Simon de La Loubère, Jean Donneau de Visé, Guy Tachard, Maréchal Desfarges, Pierre Bigrot, Voltaire, Louis de Jaucourt, Jean-Baptiste Pallegoix, Henri Mouhot, Ludovic de Beauvoir, Georges «Puck» Chaudoir, Emile and Denise Jottrand, Charles Buls, étienne Lunet de la Jonquière, André Malraux, Paul Morand, Guy de Pourtalès, Jacques May, Jean Decoux, André Gomane, Morgan Sportès, Lorenzo Pestelli, Marguerite Yourcenar, Jean Marcel.
The texts are accompanied by two booklets of photographs most of which are published for the first time.

The author

Patrick Binot was born in Belgium in 1959. Having obtained a Masters degree in Language and Linguistics from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (U.L.B.), he taught French in Spain for 16 years. Since 2002 he has lived and taught in Thailand. At present he is French Reader at Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok.
Jean Marcel was born in Quebec in 1941. Formerly Professor at Laval University, Quebec, he is now retired. He holds a Doctorate in Philology and Romance Literature from the Centre for Advanced Studies in Medieval Civilisation, Poitiers. He is a Special Adviser in the French Department of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He has been pursuing a writing career in Thailand for the past 25 years.