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From Laṅkā Eastwards; The Rāmāyaṇa in the Literature

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Book Series: Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde ISBN: 9789067183840 9789004253766 Year: Volume: 247 Pages: XIV, 259 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_399317 Language: English
Publisher: Brill
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2012-04-11 23:18:40
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Abstract

The Kakawin Ramayana, arguably the oldest Old Javanese epic text in Indic metres (circa 9th century AD), holds a unique position in the literary heritage of Indonesia. The poem has retained a remarkable vitality through the centuries in the Archipelago, inspiring many forms of artistic expression not only in the domain of literature but also in the visual and performing arts, from the reliefs of the majestic Central Javanese temples to modern puppet-show performances. Displaying a virtuoso array of metrical patterns, the Kakawin Ramayana is among the very few Old Javanese texts for which a specific Sanskrit prototype has been identified, namely the difficult poem Bhattikavya (circa 7th century AD), itself a version of the great Ramayana epic ascribed to Valmiki (circa 6th–1st century BC). The Old Javanese poem is an original and skillful work of re-elaboration that documents a fascinating interaction between cultural elements of the Sanskritic tradition with those indigenous to the Javanese setting. 
The studies included in this volume, written by experts in a wide range of disciplines, focus on disparate aspects of the Kakawin Ramayana and the constellation of cultural phenomena revolving around it, providing the reader with a key to the understanding of the rich Old Javanese textual heritage and the transcultural intellectual dynamics that contributed to shaping the cultural heritage of Indonesia up to the present. 
With contributions from Andrea Acri, Helen Creese, Arlo Griffiths, Thomas Hunter, Roy Jordaan, Lydia Kieven, Cecelia Levin, Wesley Michel, Stuart Robson and Adrian Vickers, this book is the result of a workshop held at the KITLV branch in Jakarta on May 26th–28th 2009 and supported by the Australia-Netherlands Research Collaboration, the École française d’Extrême-Orient, and the Stichting J. Gonda Fonds.

ARJUNAWIWĀHA

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Book Series: Bibliotheca Indonesica ISBN: 9789067183215 9789004253940 Year: Volume: 34 Pages: 208 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_376975 Language: English
Publisher: Brill
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2011-11-04 00:00:00
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Abstract

The Arjunawiwāha is one of the best known of the Old Javanese classics. This volume presents a new text, based on Balinese manuscripts, with a complete translation, building on the work done by earlier writers. An introduction provides ample background information, as well as an original interpretation of the significance of the text, within its historical and cultural setting. This poem was written by Mpu Kanwa in around A.D. 1030 under King Airlangga, who ruled in East Java. It is Mpu Kanwa’s only known work, and is the second oldest example in the genre of kakawin. The poem is a narrative, but also contains passages of description, philosophical or religious teaching of great interest, as well as remarkable erotic scenes. Parts of the tale have been depicted on early temple reliefs and in paintings, ­­and the text is still recited in Bali by literary clubs and in temple ceremonies.
Stuart Robson, Associate Professor of Indonesian at Monash University from 1991 to 2001 and now retired, has been studying Old Javanese for more than forty years. He is interested in the problem of how to translate works of Old Javanese literature in such a way as to make these more accessible and better known to a wider audience of both scholars and general readers.

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