Manusya, Journal of Humanities


Reinhold Grimm

Publication Date



Hardly ever do images of Thai or Thailand occur in German literature. Granted, there exists an early if seemingly isolated forerunner from the 17th century: namely, Heinrich Anshelm von Zigler und Kliphausen's voluminous Baroque novel entitled Die asiatische Banise ("The Asian Banise" [which is the name of the heroine]). I adduced it, and briefly discussed its opening scene, in my talk "What is a Good Dramatic Text? A German's Answer to a Thai's Question: that I gave in Bangkok almost a decade ago, and which was subsequently published, in a Thai translation by Chetana Nagavajara, in Silpakorn University's Journal of the Faculty of Arts and, in its English original, in my book Versuche zur europaischen Literatur of 1994. As for the three centuries following Banise, however, I had been unaware of any treatments of Thai topics in German letters; and the quite recent, though very important and meritorious, exception to the rule, Hella Kothman's collection of various Thai texts in German rendition, her Das siamesische Lacheln ("The Siamese Smile"), appeared only after I had penned and delivered my lecture- in fact, simultaneously, as it were, with my aforesaid book.

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