Javanese, a major language of Southeast Asia, possesses a little-known literature, occurring in various phases, Old, Middle and Modern. This publication presents a remarkable example, from the poetical literature of Middle Javanese, in an edited text with English translation and an extensive commentary. The aim is to acquaint a wider audience with this literature, in the hope of drawing attention to its fascinating qualities. Set principally in the Singhasari area of East Java, the narrative follows the journey of the lovers, Pañji Margasmara and Ken Candrasari, offering a glimpse of the beauty of the Javanese landscape in the 15th century. The cultural, historical and archaeological details preserved in the text help to shed light on the closing years of Majapahit, a largely unexplored period in Javanese history, before the age of Islam.
Stuart Robson (1941 - ) has a PhD from Leiden University (1971), and is now an Adjunct Professor in Indonesian Studies at Monash University, Melbourne. He has translated a large number of Javanese texts, including the Old Javanese Rāmāyaṇa (2015), which was awarded the A.L. Becker Southeast Asian Literature in Translation Prize in 2019.
Hadi Sidomulyo (1951 - ) has been actively engaged in Indonesian studies for more than half a century, with a special interest in historical topography. He served as a field consultant to the Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism between 1986 and 1994. Recent publications include Notes on the topography of ancient Java and Threads of the Unfolding Web; the Old Javanese Tantu Panggĕlaran.
Preface Illustrations Abbreviations
Part 1: Text and Translation By Stuart Robson
Metre and Music
The Literary Context
On Gardens, Parks and Other Architecture
Language and Translation
Kidung Pañji Margasmara, Dramatis Personae
Text and Translation
PART 2: Notes on History and Topography By Hadi Sidomulyo
Historical Aspects and General Conclusions
Appendix 1: A Note on the Fifteenth Century Kadipaten of Singhasari