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Harrison, Rachel (2005) 'Cultures of criticism, constructions of femininity and the impossibilities of female desire.' South East Asia Research, 13 (1). pp. 91-111.

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When Kham Phakaa's newspaper columns on popular Thai fiction were published collectively under the provocative title, Krathuu dork thorng (Queries from a Common Slut) in 2003, a new contribution was made to the study of modern Thai literature. Billed as ‘feminist’ criticism, her innovative discussions set out deliberately to fly in the face of traditional Thai literary analysis and, in particular, its respect for authorial intention as the defining signification of the text. Instead Kham Phakaa adopts a position at the extreme negative end of the spectrum of acceptable female behaviour, speaking symbolically as a ‘slut’ and a ‘whore’, from which to suggest new and unthinkable sexual agendas for the heroines of modern Thai literature: agendas often beyond the cognizance of their authors and determined or denied by sociocultural pressures and the overarching control of the state. In so doing, Kham Phakaa produces a culturally valuable and wittily written piece of polemic that in turn deserves close analysis in itself.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > Centre of South East Asian Studies
ISSN: 0967828X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2007 13:29

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