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Kahn Pheungboon Na Ayutthaya (ก้าน พึ่งบุญ ณ อยุธยา)

Thai. True name of an early 20th century novelist, who wrote under the pseudonym Mai Meuang Deum (ไม้ เมืองเดิม). He was born in Bangkok on 16 June 1905, during the final years of King Rama V's reign. His pseudonym Mai Meuang Deum is a reference to his real name, i.e. Mai (ไม้) means ‘wood’ and refers to his true first name Kahn (ก้าน), which means twig or stem’; whereas Meuang Deum (เมืองเดิม) means ‘Former City’ or ‘Old City’ and refers to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, which appears in his true family name, i.e. Na Ayutthaya (ณ อยุธยา), and which in itself is an indication that his family descended from former royalty of this city. His is sometimes also called Kritsana (กฤษณะ), i.e. Krishna, or King Pheungboon Na Ayutthaya (กิ่ง พึ่งบุญ ณ อยุธยา), with king (กิ่ง) being a synonym of kahn (ก้าน), meaning also twig or stem’. His oeuvre includes the celebrated narrative Khun Seuk (ขุนศึก), i.e. Warlords’, a historical action and love-story about Sema (เสมา), the intelligent son of a poor blacksmith, who is skilled in the two-hand sword technique, which he uses to help protect king and country, but when he falls in love with an attractive and wealthy young girl, he soon runs into conflict with the rich establishment. The story is set in the Ayutthaya Period during the life of King Naresuan, and has been made into movies and series for television several times over. Kahn Pheungboon Na Ayutthaya passed away on 4 March 1942, at the untimely age of 36. In 2005, one hundred years after his birthday, Mai Meuang Deum was celebrated with a Thai postage stamp, issued to commemorate a Century of Modern Thai Writers (fig.).