By Penny Edwards
This strikingly unique research of Cambodian nationalism brings to existence 8 turbulent a long time of cultural swap and sheds new mild at the colonial ancestry of Pol Pot’s murderous dystopia. Penny Edwards recreates the highbrow milieux and cultural site visitors linking Europe and empire, interweaving research of key events and concepts within the French Protectorate of Cambodge with modern advancements within the Métropole. From the naturalist Henri Mouhot’s excursion to Angkor in 1860 to the nationalist Son Ngoc Thanh’s short-lived premiership in 1945, this heritage of rules tracks the proficient Cambodian and French women and men who formed the contours of the trendy Khmer country. Their visions and targets performed out inside of a moving panorama of Angkorean temples, Parisian museums, Khmer printing presses, world’s gala's, Buddhist monasteries, and Cambodian formative years hostels. this can be cross-cultural historical past at its most sensible.
With its clean tackle the dynamics of colonialism and nationalism, Cambodge: The Cultivation of a Nation turns into crucial examining for students of background, politics, and society in Southeast Asia. Edwards’ nuanced research of Buddhism and her attention of Angkor’s emergence as a countrywide monument could be of specific curiosity to scholars of Asian and eu faith, museology, background stories, and paintings historical past. As a hugely readable consultant to Cambodia’s contemporary earlier, it is going to additionally attract experts in sleek French heritage, cultural stories, and colonialism, in addition to readers with a normal curiosity in Cambodia.
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Additional resources for Cambodge: The Cultivation of a Nation 1860-1945 (Southeast Asia--Politics, Meaning, Memory)
Among his more than thirty books was an account of his “pilgrimage” to Angkor. 89 As the ultimate “lost” city, whose vanishing into myth and subsequent recovery fired the imagination like Petra and Pompeii, Angkor lent itself well to romanticization and embellishment. Collectively, the works of Loti and others formed a shimmering mosaic of mirrors through which, increasingly, Europeans came to anticipate Angkor as a perfect simulacrum of a vanished past. Taking up Mouhot’s trail, the Englishmen Kennedy and King travelled to Angkor from Bangkok in 1864.
Plastic and textual representations rebuilt Angkor as a totem of the Western imagination, erasing contemporary residents from temple views or dramatizing them by the addition of helmets, spears, and a bizarre Roman-Angkorean regalia designed, apparently, to signal grandeur, themes of glory and decline, and a knowledge intimated by the artist or writer to the viewer/reader, of an-other time. 13 Maps, journals, travelogues, and exotic novels embroidered Angkor onto the French consciousness as a peripheral emblem of empire, demarcating France’s geographic and scholastic reach in the Orient.
Plaster casts, miniature models, massive pavilions, and purloined relics in Paris and Marseille all wove the art and architecture of Angkor into France’s national fabric. While the ephemeral displays at these mostly temporary exhibitions reenacted the mythical vanishing acts of Angkorean civilization, the permanent halls and exhibits at museums in Paris and Phnom Penh provided a sort of cultural formaldehyde in which conceptions of Cambodge hung suspended and unchallenged. The incorporation of Angkor into France’s national heritage, or patrimoine, was 22 : Chapter 1 paralleled by a far more subtle process in Cambodge.