Thomas Hudak

Listed in: Poetry · Asian Studies · Southeast Asian Studies · Religion · Asian Literature · Buddhism · Literary Studies

The Tale of Prince Samuttakote · A Buddhist Epic from Thailand
By Thomas Hudak

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Thai poets produced epics depicting elaborate myths and legends which intermingled the human, natural, and supernatural worlds. One of the most famous of these classical compositions is the Samuttakhoot kham chan, presented here in English for the first time as The Tale of Prince Samuttakote.

During the Ayutthaya period in Thailand (1350-1767), a group of meters based upon specific types and arrangements of syllables became a significant part of the Thai literary corpus. Known as chan in Thai literature, these meters, and the stanzas created from them, were adapted and transformed so that they corresponded in structure to other Thai verse forms.

“This meticulously executed book is a welcome addition to the relatively small, though growing, corpus of studies on the Thai language. The book appeals to a far wider audience than its title may suggest, because it discusses not only details of Thai poetry, for which Hudak is regarded as the foremost authority in North America, but also the culture, language, and people behind it.”

Tadao Miyamoto, Language