Sunday, July 15, 2012

Regarding the essay 'Obscene'- translator's note

Translator's note: Normally I would not make any comment on the content of Manit's critical essays, but 'Obscene' is, in my opinion, too brutal in some respects.

Manit makes some cutting, poignant and insightful remarks about the familiar offensive absurdity of decisions made by the state censorship board, about his own trauma at turning 50, and about the difficulties of taking the female nude as the artist's subject.

However, when the discussion 'turns Red', it becomes rather savage, clouding his critical clarity and brilliance. I hope he will instead, for example,do some training in martial arts in future, or take up the hobby of shooting guns at a firing range in order to work off this kind of steam.

 Manit is one of Thailand's great critics, and I don't think he does himself justice by muddying the waters with these uncharacteristic outbursts. JMW

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