Khmer Novel/Literature

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Angkorian Angkorian 13 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #825
    Avatar of Mony
    Mony
    Participant

    Anyone interested in discussing Khmer novels?

    Example:
    1) Tum Tev – Explain the support or the contrast of Tum’s action in leaving monkhood to pursue what his heart desire, a) in the context of the time that the novel was written b) at the current timeline.

    2) Compare Tev’s character to that of Juliet (of Romeo & Juliet).

    3) What would Khmer men of current civilization do if put in Tum’s situation?

    #847
    Avatar of Anthropologie
    Anthropologie
    Participant

    It is obvious to me that Dom loves Tev….but I wonder if he would have decided to leave monkhood if it wasn’t for the effect of the potion/drugs that Tev gave to him in his food during his monkhood. Even with the warning of a higher monk, Dom decides to leave. But I sometimes wonder if he was influence by the drugs or was it really his heart desire. He knew also that Tev has “cjol malop”(go into the shadow) and that she wasn’t allowed to go outside the house or even meet with a man, so that was a big risk knowing that both of them would be in touble.

    I know that I haven’t ansered your questions..but just wanted to add a little more to this discussion.

    —-Anthropologie—–

    My father told me when I was younger that the plot for Dom Tev has changed after the Pol Pot Era. Hun Sen, now the Prime Minister of Cambodia, wanted to make a political statement and therefore you will notice in the palace scene how corrupt and unorganized the government and the King is. Personally I don’t know what the original script consist of…I have seen the play in Long Beach when I was 10 year old or so. And it was pretty interesting.

    But you will also notice that a lot of classical dances are making political statements. For instance, in Apsara if you listen to the singing you will notice that the song is about being happy on January 7th. January 7th being the invasion/ takeover of the Vietamese army…and the end of the Khmer Rouge Reign in Cambodia. If you see a performance or a taping of Apsara before the Killing Filed you will notice that the words are different than the one now.

    #865
    Avatar of Anthropologie
    Anthropologie
    Participant

    It is obvious to me that Dom loves Tev….but I wonder if he would have decided to leave monkhood if it wasn’t for the effect of the potion/drugs that Tev gave to him in his food during his monkhood. Even with the warning of a higher monk, Dom decides to leave. But I sometimes wonder if he was influence by the drugs or was it really his heart desire. He knew also that Tev has “cjol malop”(go into the shadow) and that she wasn’t allowed to go outside the house or even meet with a man, so that was a big risk knowing that both of them would be in touble.

    I know that I haven’t answered your questions..but just wanted to add a little more to this discussion.

    —-Anthropologie—–

    My father told me when I was younger that the plot for Dom Tev has changed after the Pol Pot Era. Hun Sen, now the Prime Minister of Cambodia, wanted to make a political statement and therefore you will notice in the palace scene how corrupt and unorganized the government and the King is. Personally I don’t know what the original script consist of…I have seen the play in Long Beach when I was 10 year old or so. And it was pretty interesting.

    But you will also notice that a lot of classical dances are making political statements. For instance, in Apsara if you listen to the singing you will notice that the song is about being happy on January 7th. January 7th being the invasion/ takeover of the Vietamese army…and the end of the Khmer Rouge Reign in Cambodia. If you see a performance or a taping of Apsara before the Killing Filed you will notice that the words are different than the one now.

    #882
    Avatar of Mony
    Mony
    Participant

    If you have a chance read the book instead. It is a little difficult for some to follow the poetry but it is the original story. The book does not mention any love potion offered to Tum. The classical dance and the movie that you have seen were adaptations made during various era with governmental influence. These adaptations are more aligned with another story, Teav Ek, I believe. Teav Ek was written after Tum Teav. The author was a high ranking member of the royal court, whereas the author of Tum Teav was a monk.

    #896
    Avatar of Anthropologie
    Anthropologie
    Participant

    wow..you know your stuff…my father happened to call right after I read your post and he confirmed your story. I guess I got the story a little mixed up. Now I’m more motivated to learn how to read and write Khmer since I do want to read more Khmer stories and poems. I love the Khmer language!

    Anthropologie

    #915
    Avatar of Angkorian
    Angkorian
    Participant

    It is so sad to see that this board is empty. I cannot believe that with so many khmers online, no one has anything to say for this board.

    Don’t we have any opinions on the restoration/expansion of Angkor compound for tourism? What do we think of the new crops of artists/singers? What ever happen to the writing world of Khmer languague? Are there any new khmer novels, essays, or any new writing at all in the last 5 years?

    I realize that I am not offering any insights to the issue yet. However, I hope that my posting here would stir a little conversation on the subject.

    I welcome any and all comments.

    #934
    Avatar of SiamReap
    SiamReap
    Participant

    Hey Angkorian,

    I don't know anything about Khmer literature. I am pretty much illiterate in Khmer but with a little luck had learned enough English to get by. Can you tell some thing about what is happening in the restoration of Angkor? Either that or tell me what you think of the controversial book by a Khmer author, Loung Ung. I heard Khmer folks don't like it but other (Americans) reviewers sound like they like it.

    Thanks, I'm interested to know more. Maybe I should buy the book.

    #950
    Avatar of Angkorian
    Angkorian
    Participant

    Hello SiemReap.

    I am not familair with neither the book nor the author you mentioned. Do you know the title? Where can I get a copy of it?
    As far as the restoration and the renovation of Angkor Wat compound is concern, I know that the administration is embarking on a project that involves Airport expansion, more frequent fly to the city, addional hotels and amenities. Angkor Wat itself was somewhat restored in the early '90 by an Indian organization. I do not know how well the restoration was other than hearing controversy about how chemical was used to removed tarness from the stone, and that grain of stone fell off as a result. I have not seen the temple so I cannot be certain.
    My opnion on the current project is somewhat selfish. I realize that Cambodia need money in order to continue the restoration and daily up keep of the temple. But with additional influx of tourists, there increases the risk that the temple will suffer further deterioration. It is not just Angkor Wat alone, but many other monuments. The current issue of National Geography has an article about Bonteay Chmar. Perhaps, we could find funding other ways, such as loaning our statues and relic to foreing museum or world tour etc…
    Another topic of interest is the recovery of stolen artifacts. I have heard that there plenty of stolen artifact turning up in Thailand. The Thai govenment is willing to return them to Cambodia (that's what I heard). Even without money for full restoration, our government need to do more to protect these artifacts.

    Please let me know the title of the book. Thanks.

    #967
    Avatar of asianguy
    asianguy
    Participant

    An interesting topic would be:

    1. How would Tum/Tev story end if they both have PacBell PCS phone service – $49.95 plan?

    2. What is the chance of two lovers name Tum/Tev — both begin with “T”? Romeo and Juliett is more realistic. Why not just use Kobmara and Kobmarei for the obvious reason? I mean, am I smoking or can you smell something here?

    Anyhow, I will post my mind again next time…

    ASIANGUY – only one around here
    [email protected]

    check this out…

    mchawking.com
    facegeneration.com

    #982
    Avatar of Angkorian
    Angkorian
    Participant

    you know a lot about your own literature. :)

    #996
    Avatar of SiamReap
    SiamReap
    Participant

    It was covered on Nightline not long ago.

    I think you can buy it at your local Borders or some other big bookstore.

    Thanx for telling me about the Angkor Wat restoration.

    #1010
    Avatar of Angkorian
    Angkorian
    Participant

    I got a chance to read the book…my opinion, it is not worth your money if you any experiences from the Khmer Rouge era. I know that everyone have different experiences from that time but it all ended up the same at the end. The book seems a bit on the exaggeration side, at five years old, one must be an extraordinary child to remember such experience so vividly. Just remeber that the book is a diary written twenty years later. I met the author of this book a few years ago but didn't remember her.

    I would suggest another book instead, “When the Stones Cry Out”, or “To kill you is No Loss” (Thida Butt Mom). Also, I've heard that another book, “When Broken Glass Float”, is a better reading.

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