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The efforts of Siamese elites to promote a tradition of Thai language and literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are well documented. Far less attention has been paid to the criticism engendered by their interventions. The narratives developed here suggest the limited nature of Chakkri cultural authority in the years just prior to the absolute monarchy’s overthrow. The first is an examination of how essayists writing for the popular press responded to Seventh Reign (1925-1935) linguistic reforms. The second is a consideration of how better-known writers of the period made use of romantic allegory to critique the prevailing dynastic order.
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