The Thai classic Behind the Painting was released in Vietnamese yesterday.
Written by Sri Boorapha, the novel tells the love story of Princess Kirati and a youth called Nopporn. Despite their differences in age and position, they share a deep love.
“I die without the person who loves me but I am content because I have found the person who I love,” Kirati says, a line that became a manifesto for the lovelorn and the lonely.
Critic Pham Xuan Nguyen said that the novel was popular because of its realistic and beautiful writing, as well as its social significance.
“The book describes not only love but also the changing society in Thailand,” he said. “It shows how women suffered in the old days.”
In 1936, Boorapha was invited to a Japanese newspaper exhibition organised by Asahi. After coming back to Thailand, he wrote the novel based on his experiences in Japan. The novel was published in the newspaper between 1936 and 1973 and reprinted over 50 times, in addition to being translated into English, Chinese and Japanese and twice adapted for film.
Boorapha (1905-74) whose real name is Kulap Saipradit, is recognised as one of the most significant figures of modern Asian literature.
He served as chairman of the Thai Newspaper Association from 1945 to 1946 and has written fiction and poetry covering topics from religion and philosophy to politics and society.
“I believe that the novel will help Vietnamese readers understand more about Thai literature and society. It also helps enhance mutual understanding between the countries,” Thai ambassador Panyarak Poolthup said.