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Clearing a Space

Postcolonial Readings of Modern Indonesian Literature


Edited by T. Day

This collection draws together the work of authors from Indonesia, Australia, North America, and Europe, in the first comprehensive attempt to relate modern Indonesian literature to the insights and approaches of postcolonial theory and literary criticism. The essays in the collection range over the history of modern Indonesian literature from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century to its diversity and growth in the 1990s. Some offer the fresh readings of well-known texts; others draw attention to aspects of the Indonesian literary tradition that have hitherto escaped the notice of scholars and critics. Grounded in detailed analysis of local contexts, yet enlivened by comparative and theoretical perspectives, the collection places Indonesian literature at the heart of contemporary cultural concerns.

The Vākāṭakas

An Essay in Hindu Iconology


Hans T. Bakker

For now more than half a century, scholars of the history of Western art have become familiar with the idea that art is embedded in a social and cultural context which imbues it with meaning and as such may be viewed as a source which generates knowledge concerning this context; this again may result in a better understanding of the artefact itself. This synthetic method of investigation, known under the name of ‘iconology,’ has proved to be of great value in the research of the history of culture. The present book is an essay in which the ‘classical age’ of India is studied by exploring textual as well as archaeological sources that relate to the kingdom of the Vākāṭakas, the southern neighbours of the Guptas in the fourth and fifth centuries AD.

A great number of inscriptions and Hindu sculptures have been discovered and published during the last two decades. Among these inscriptions the one found in the Kevala-Narasiṃha Temple on Ramtek Hill (Rāmagiri) deserves special mention as it throws a flood of light on the political history of the Vākāṭakas and their relationship with the Guptas. This book draws on the new sculptural and epigraphical evidence in presenting a history of the Vākāṭaka kingdom. The (Hindu) sculptures found in the eastern Vākāṭaka realm are brought together for the first time in an illustrated catalogue, their findspots are surveyed, their iconography is studied and their link with Ajanta is pointed out.