Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bangkok books?

So I'm back from the ILGA Asia Conference in Bangkok! Will be writing a Fridae article about it, too. But it wasn't much of a holiday - didn't even make it to Chatuchak Weekend Market. Too busy blogging during the conference, and attending the ASEAN SOGI Caucus in the two days afterwards.

Thus, the only book I acquired during that sojourn was this:

The English title seems to be Violated Lives: Narratives from LGBTIQs and Internatioanl human Rights Law. I got it free from a table where goodies were being handed out.

Yes, it's mostly in Thai, but the annex is bilingual, and it covers the Yogyakarta Principles (and can I say right now how proud I am as a Southeast Asian that a landmark document on sexual orientation and gender identity rights was crafted in my own neighbourhood?).

What I actually spent most of my time reading, however, was this:

I'm doing an article on classic gay Asian lit now (not gay Asian American lit, thank you very much), so of course I've got to peruse Yukio Mishima's landmark tortured-gay-man-in-the-closet novel, Confessions of a Mask. 

Oh god, but I don't know if I should recommend it to the average reader. It's so dark and twisted and upsetting, perhaps even dangerous for the insecure gay man. And honestly, his other works, like his Noh Plays and The Sailor Who Fell With Grace From the Sea, are more transcendent and beautiful, presenting psychosis on a platter rather than being immersed in it.

I'll probably list it, anyway, due to its historical importance. Must live with the possibility that one of my future readers will end up committing hara-kiri because of me.

Too many deadlines now to even think of heading down to the library to read my Tokelau book, by the way. Maybe I can squish it in towards the end of next week.

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