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.
Ronit Ricci (PhD in Comparative Literature, University of Michigan 2006) is Professor of Asian Studies and Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is also affiliated with the Australian National University. She has published widely on Javanese and Malay manuscript cultures, the Sri Lanka Malays, translation, and exile in colonial Asia. She is currently leading the ERC-funded project Textual Microcosms: A New Approach in Translation Studies, focused on interlinear translations from the Indonesian-Malay world.
Notes on Contributors Acknowledgments List of Figures and Maps A Note on Orthography and Transliteration Abbreviations
Introduction Ronit Ricci
1 Rediscovering Islam in Javanese History M.C. Ricklefs
2 Stepping on a Wulu: Minor Characters and Narrative Possibilities in the Sĕrat Cĕnthini Tony Day
3 Better to Touch the Heart: Performing Sufi Songs (Suluk) in the Sĕrat Cĕnthini Nancy K. Florida
4 The Hamza Affect: Feeling as a Moving Force in the Asian-Islamic Epic Bernard Arps
6 Situated Prophethood: Reading the Serat Ambiya in Nineteenth-Century Java Ronit Ricci
7 Where Is Mecca? Or, Map and Territory: Reflections from Java Verena Meyer
8 Words of Power and Wisdom: Credible Authorities and Reliable Sources in the Sĕrat Nitik Sultan Agung Els Bogaerts
9 On the Wrong Side of History
Key Episodes in the Sĕrat Rama and the Panji Paniba
Willem van der Molen
10 Rethinking Categorization in Javanese Literary History: Some Reflections on a Fin-de-Siècle Memoir by Raden Sasrakusuma Edwin P. Wieringa
Scholars, students and others interested in Java’s history, literature and culture; scholars and students of anthropology, cultural studies, literary studies, philology and history who have an interest in Java or Indonesia, or who wish to gain a comparative perspective; scholars of translation studies, Indian Ocean studies and religion, Islamic studies in particular; teaching themes include religious change, colonial knowledge production, manuscript art, Islamization, sufism, theories of genre, orality and literacy.