A History of Classical Malay Literature

A History of Classical Malay Literature

Liaw Yock Fang

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This is a detailed, narrative–based history of Classical Malay Literature.

It covers a wide range of Malay texts, including folk literature; the influence of the Indian epics and shadow theatre; Panji tales; the transition from Hindu to Muslim literary models; Muslim literature; framed tales; theological literature; historical literature; legal codes; and the dominant forms of poetry, the pantun and syair.

The author describes the background to each of these particular literary periods. He engages in depth with specific texts, their various manuscripts, and their contents. In so doing, he draws attention to the historical complexity of tradisional Malay society, its worldviews, and its place within the wider framework of human experience.

Dr. Liaw’s History of Classical Malay Literature will be of benefit to beginning students of Malay Literature and to established scholars alike. It can also be read with benefit by those with a wider interest in Comparative Literature and in Southeast Asian culture in general.