Thresholds of Interpretation on the Threshold of Change: Paratexts in Late 19th-century Javanese Manuscripts

in Journal of Islamic Manuscripts
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Abstract

Gerard Genette’s notion of the paratext as ‘a threshold of interpretation’ is employed in this article to explore a host of paratexts in late nineteenth century Javanese manuscripts from the Pura Pakualaman court library in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Although paratexts were used in earlier years, especially in the form of illuminated opening pages, verse and metrical markers and some (often very brief ) information about authors and scribes, the final decades of the nineteenth century and first two of the twentieth saw major shifts in the kind of paratexts employed, reflecting, I suggest, wider changes in practices of reading, writing and the transmission of knowledge.

Thresholds of Interpretation on the Threshold of Change: Paratexts in Late 19th-century Javanese Manuscripts

in Journal of Islamic Manuscripts

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References

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Ahmat B. AdamThe Vernacular Press and the Emergence of Modern Indonesian Consciousness (Ithaca: Cornell University SEAP1995) 89.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Gapura renggan (‘adorned gateway’). Babad Pakualaman, 1918, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, Bb.31
  • View in gallery
    Rubrikasi and stanza markers. Babad Pakualaman, 1918, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, Bb.31.
  • View in gallery
    Stanza markers in the form of the letter ‘K’. Lokapala, 1899, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, St. 40.
  • View in gallery
    Title page. Dara Murtasiyah, 1908, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, St. 28.
  • View in gallery
    Highlighting of author’s name. Babad Napoleyon, 1892, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, St. 26.
  • View in gallery
    Numerals indicating page, canto and stanza. Babad Segaluh, 1897, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, Bb. 35.
  • View in gallery
    Pratélan. Panji Panuba, 1897, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, St. 61.
  • View in gallery
    Citation from an 1883 Bramartani issue. Kempalan Warni-Warni, undated, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, Ll. 16.
  • View in gallery
    Scene from the Great War. Baratayuda, 1850, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, St. 11.
  • View in gallery
    Scene from the Great War, forty years onwards. Baratayuda, 1890, MS Yogyakarta, Perpustakaan Pura Pakualaman, St. 14.

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