Text/politics in Island Southeast Asia: Essays in Interpretation

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D. M. Roskies
Ohio University Center for International Studies, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 321 pages
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How does the language of poetry conspire with the language of power? This question is at the heart of this volume which deals with Indonesia and the Philippines in the early modern and post-1945 periods. These two nations have been shaped by the forces of nationalism, revolution, and metropolitan hegemony. Whether written in Malay, Tagalog, English, or Dutch the writings coming from them carry the contradictions of their time and place in the milieu of race and class. The contributors examine the literature and politics of Indonesia and Philippines from the point of view of contemporary thinking. Their examinations include the responses of indigenous writers to censorship and to their marginalization and cooption by colonial and neocolonial states. They investigate the rhetoric of spectacle in the Philippines of Ferdinand Marcos, the function of pasyon in Tagalog religious narrative, the writings of Pramoedya Ananta Toer in Indonesia, and the memoirs of a Javanese aristocrat. This book will be of interest to colonial historians and to students and scholars of non-Western and comparative literature.

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