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Javanese literature is one of the world’s richest and most unusual literary traditions yet it is little known today outside of Java, Indonesia, and a handful of western universities. With its more than a millennium of documented history, its complex interactions over the centuries with literature written in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Malay and Dutch, its often symbiotic relationship with the performing arts of puppetry and dance, and its own immense creativity and insight, this vastly understudied literature offers a lens to understanding Java’s fascinating world as well as human ingenuity more broadly. The essays in this volume, Storied Island: New Explorations in Javanese Literature, take a fresh look at questions and themes pertaining to Java’s literature, employing new theoretical and methodological lenses.
The Song Dynasty Making of China’s Greatest Poet
Author:
Irreducible to conventional labels usually applied to him, the Tang poet Du Fu (712–770) both defined and was defined by the literary, intellectual, and socio-political cultures of the Song dynasty (960–1279).
Jue Chen not only argues in his work that Du Fu was constructed according to particular literary and intellectual agendas of Song literati but also that conventional labels applied to Du Fu do not accurately represent this construction campaign. He also discusses how Du Fu’s image as the greatest poet sheds unique light on issues that can deepen our understanding of the subtleties in the poetic culture of Song China.