Meeting : “Riding the iron dog: Rong Wongsawan in San Francisco”.
25 April, 2017.
A Talk by Tony Waters.
Wongsawan was a major literary figure in Thailand from the 1960s until
his death in 2009.His work was highly influential because of his
observations on Thai society. Translation of his work has long been
considered a very challenging task because of his use of Thai (and
English) idiom, slang, double meanings, pathos and humor. An early part
of his career was spent in California, where he was the roving
correspondent for the Thai newspaper, Siam Rath. There will a
discussion of the story behind Rong’s book Astride the Iron Dog in the
Land of the Golden Sunshine. This is the first known translation of a
work of ‘Rong into English. The Payap University English Department has
given it a try and will present what they have done. The presentation
will be divided into three sections. The work itself, the context of
the time and then the Payap University English students will do a
reading in English of selected stories.
Waters is a regular faculty member in the Department of Peace Studies
Peacebuilding), Payap University, Chiang Mai since 2016. He formerly
served as a Peace Corps Volunteer at the Phrae Malaria Zone Office
(1980-1982), and worked in Nan and Cholburi in camps for Indochinese
refugees (1982-1983). He is also a Professor of Sociology at California
State University, Chico, where he taught classes between 1996 and 2015.
He and his students at Payap University are currently working on
translations of Rong Wongsawan and Kukrit Pramoj.
(PDF File for downloading or reading on
line - 17 pages).