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The Malay Hikayat Miʿrāj Nabi Muḥammad

The Prophet Muḥammad’s Nocturnal Journey to Heaven and Hell. Text and Translation of Cod. Or. 1713 in the Library of Leiden University

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Edited by Th.C. van der Meij and Nannoo Lambooij

Texts about the nocturnal journey of the Prophet Muḥammad (Mi‘rāj) abound in the Muslim world and outside. International attention has never been afforded to any version of text in any language of the Indonesian archipelago. One old version of the text from the area, the Malay Hikayat Mir’āj Nabi Muḥammad is presented here in Malay and English translation. The introductory chapters place the text in a wider context in Indonesian literatures while the manuscript of the text (Cod.Or. Leiden 1713) is described in detail. The text and translation purport to enhance interest in this important text in the Muslim world as seen from the Malay/Indonesian perspective.

The Skandapurāṇa Volume IIb

Adhyāyas 31-52. The Vāhana and Naraka Cycles

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Edited by Hans Bakker, Yuko Yokochi and Peter Bisschop

Skandapurāṇa IIb presents a critical edition of Adhyāyas 31-52 from the Skandapurāṇa, with an introduction and English synopsis. The text edited in this volume includes central myths of early Śaivism, such as the destruction of Dakṣa's sacrifice and Śiva acquiring the bull for his vehicle. Also included is an extensive description of the thirteen hells (Naraka).

The Skandapurāṇa III

Adhyayas 34.1-61, 53-69: The Vindhyavāsinī Cycle

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Yuko Yokochi

Skandapurāṇa III presents a critical edition of the Vindhyavāsinī Cycle (Adhyāyas 34.1-61, 53-69) from the Skandapurāṇa , with an introduction and annotated English synopsis. The text edited in this volume provides the oldest full account of the myth of the goddess of the Vindhya mountains; it is one of the main sources of the Devīmāhātmya, the most famous scripture of the goddess worship in India, and as such indispensable for the study of the history of goddess worship. The introduction contains an examination into the relationship of the manuscripts and the date of the Skandapurāṇa .
The work is currently only available in print as an exact reprint done in a smaller book size (15.5 x 23.5 cm) than the first printrun.

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Edited by J. Noorduyn and A. Teeuw

Preserved on undated palm-leaf manuscripts, Old Sundanese texts are generally in poor condition and unavailable to a wider audience. There are limited texts in any form of Sundanese, and only limited knowledge of Old Sundanese. In presenting three long Old Sundanese poems, Noorduyn and Teeuw, in a heretofore unequalled English-language study of Old Sundanese literature, bring to the light works of importance for further linguistic, literary and historical research.
The three poems, The Sons of Rama and Rawana, The ascension of Sri Ajnyana and The story of Bujangga Manik: A pilgrim's progress were undiscovered before this book. The first two were found in a nineteenth-century manuscript collection of the former Batavian Society and are now in the National Library of Indonesia in Jakarta, while the third was donated to the Bodleian Library in Oxford as early as 1627, though it was not identified as an Old Sundanese poem until the 1950s.

Bhomantaka

The Death of Bhoma

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Edited by A. Teeuw and S.O. Robson

The Bhomantaka, or the Death of Bhoma, is a wide-ranging tale of the sweet romance of Samba and Yajñawati, of the defeat of the demon Bhoma by King Kresna and his minions in a truly monumental battle, and many more incidents and descriptions, a product of the sophisticated literary tradition of early Java. The poem is written in Old Javanese (composed by an author who does not mention his name or that of his king), in an idiom that presents many difficulties for the modern reader. This book contains an edition of the text, a translation, and an extensive explanatory introduction—enough to make the work accessible—and was produced by a team of two, both senior scholars of Old Javanese and experienced in producing readable English translations.
It will become apparent in the course of reading that there are still numerous philological problems attaching to the text and its interpretation, but on the other hand it is also a fact that it contains many a passage of delightful poetry, philosophical teaching and other cultural information. As a result we get a glimpse of what Java was like perhaps eight and a half centuries ago, and of the thought-world of the Javanese of that age – a world where legendary, mythological or divine beings do battle, and kings march out to restore the welfare of the realm.
This publication takes its place in a long line, from the author via the copyists, in Java and in Bali, who faithfully and lovingly transmitted the work, down to the first edition of the text in 1852 and then the first translation in 1946. In this way a literary tradition of great value has been preserved for the future, and the KITLV Press now offers this contribution to coming generations of students of Old Javanese and to scholars of comparative literature around the world.

Bidasari

Jewel of Malay Muslim Culture

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Julian Millie

The sly wit and silky eroticism of the verse genre known as romantic syair were staple dishes on the Southeast Asian cultural menu, especially in the Malay, Islamic regional centres. Yet very few examples are available in translation for the many readers interested in the genre, and attempts by academics to account for their powers of attraction are even rarer. This book is the author’s effort to convey the seductive qualities of the sexiest of the romantic syair, the ‘Poem of Bidasari’. Few Malay works have been loved and disseminated to the extent the Syair Bidasari has. It was translated in other languages of the region like Makassarese and Maranao and adapted for the Malay theatre and cinema.
Three tasks are attempted in the book: a transliteration into Roman characters of one of the surviving Malay manuscripts of the poem, a translation of that manuscript into English, and an inquiry into the poem’s virtues. The intertexts drawn upon in the analysis reveal the author’s conviction that understanding of traditions of kesenian rakyat (popular arts) such as pantun and the Malay theatre provides the background that allows the text to signify most powerfully.

A Merry Senhor in the Malay World (2 VOLS)

Four Texts of the Syair Sinyor Kosta

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Edited by R.M. Dumas

Around a century ago a Malay poem which tells of a foreigner, always indicated as Sinyor, in Southeast Asia who elopes with Lela Mayang, the wife of a wealthy Chinaman. The latter sets out in pursuit of the couple and engages in a naval battle with the Sinyor in an attempt to get his wife back. The Syair Sinyor Kosta, as the poem is known, presents us with fascinating pictures and glimpses of Malay society, in this case a nineteenth-century society in transition. It reflects changing literary tastes, a pluriform society and the beginning modernization of Malay culture. In its variegated transmission, through both manuscripts and early printings, it is an illustration of the continuous interaction between Malay authors and audiences. In particular it is a remarkable piece of early evidence of literary coexistence between Malays and Chinese, who must have enjoyed this story of the merry Sinyor each in their own way, as is apparent from the continuing process of creation, reception and recreation of the text.
This book presents editions of four versions of the Syair Sinyor Kosta, of which two are translated into English. The texts are preceded by a lengthy introduction which deals with the manuscripts, their history and provenance, and their writers. The book closes with a detailed chapter with a comparative study of the four versions, an investigation of the historical setting, and an analysis of the language used in the texts.

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William Collins

This study presents the text and translation of an oral epic, or guritan, relating the exploits of Radin Suane, which was recorded during anthropological fieldwork among the Besemah, in the remote highlands of South Sumatra. Documentation of an epic in Besemah, a little known Sumatran-Malay language, will be useful for comparative purposes to specialists in Malaysian and Indonesian languages and literatures. This work is also intended to serve students of ethnography, folklore and oral poetry, as well as general readers who may not be familiar with Sumatran culture. Accordingly, an extensive commentary has been provided to give a cultural context for understanding this epic.

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Edited by Helen Creese

For more than a millennium, the poets of Java and Bali have celebrated their deities, their patrons and the cult of beauty and love through the writing of kakawin.
The Parthayana ("The Journeying of Partha") is a kakawin written in Bali in the early eighteenth century in honour of the Dewa Agung of Klungkung, Surawirya (d.1736). It relates the physical and spiritual journey of the Pandawa hero, Arjuna, as he undertakes a period of exile lasting twelve years and describes his romantic adventures.
This edition of the Parthayana, together with an English translation and commentary provides insights into the practice of kakawin composition in Bali and places it in the wider context of Balinese literature.

The Battle for Junk Ceylon

The Syair Sultan Maulana

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C. Skinner

The Battle for Junk Ceylon presents a new scholarly edition of the text of the Malay “ballad” known as the Syair Sultan Maulana, together with an English translation. This long poem was written during the second decade of the 19th century by the secretary to the Lakasamana (Admiral) of the sultanate of Kedah. It gives an eye-witness account if the events which occurred during the early part of the reign of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin, in particular the part played by the Kedah fleet in helping the Siamese to expel the Burmese form the island of Phuket (“Junk Ceylon”) on the west coast of southern Thailand.
The accuracy and relative lack of bias on the part of the author make this Malay text a primary source of some importance, and accordingly the editor has concentrated his attention on the historical features of the text, in particular the military and naval aspects of the Junk Ceylon campaign, thereby also making use of sources in Thai in order to paint a remarkably clear picture of the course of the events.