Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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The paper aims to investigate how Bangkok is represented in contemporary Thai literature, including those works by such authors of renown as Chamlong Fangcholachit, Prabda Yoon, and Paritas Hutangkul. Through the perspectives of these contemporary authors, Bangkok has been used as a poignant setting to showcase the problems and conditions of urbanism in Thailand. The paper aims to focus on three main issues of representation, which are not completely separated but closely intertwined: (1) Bangkok as a hub of globalization, where cultural forces, especially those from the West, clash with local knowledge and wisdom; (2) Bangkok as a major tourist destination, where the tourist's imagination of Bangkok and Thailand as an exotic place jars with the realities they actually face upon their arrival; and (3) Bangkok as a city of capitalism and consumerism, where urban people define themselves through their conspicuous consumption. Contemporary Thai literature, especially those works in the last two decades, make manifest the complexity of these three issues as well as how these issues affect urban dwellers in their everyday life.

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