The Dreams of an Idealist
with A Victim of Two Political Purges and The Emerald's Cleavage
- PUBLISHED: January 2009
- SUBJECT LISTING: Literary Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 372 Pages, 5 x 7.5 in
- ISBN: 9789749511619
M. R. Nimitmongkol Navarat is one of the tragic figures of modern Thai literature. He spent almost half of his adult life in prison for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government, and died prematurely, just before his fortieth birthday.
As a political prisoner in the late 1930s, Nimitmongkol wrote The Dreams of an Idealist, which was seized by prison guards and the author dispatched to the notorious penal colony on Ko Tao. On his release, he rewrote the book and published it in 1946. Like the author, the hero, Rung, was arrested after the Boworadet rebellion and while in prison, became familiar with the works of Western philosophers, economists, and psychologists. Later editions of the novel were complemented by the author's short memoir, A Victim of Two Political Purges, which provides further chilling insight into the workings of the Phibun regime, and in particular the "Special Courts" set up to deal with political opponents.
This volume also includes the short drama, The Emerald's Cleavage, written in English in the late 1930s, which satirizes the morally flawed and opportunistic political elite that ruled Siam.
Authors & Contributors
David Smyth teaches Thai language and literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.