85 Tham Seong Chee, Ph. D. Department of Malay Studies, University of Singapore LITERARY RESPONSE AND THE SOCIAL PROCESS - An Analysis of Cultural and Political Beliefs among Malay Writers This paper is an attempt to explore the larger connections between literature and society principally in the context of modem Malay literature. / shall not go into the various theoretical considerations that relate to the concept of 'social process' rather / shall attempt a more practical approach by first sketching briefly the traditional Malay social system and the ideational system underlying it following which / shall discuss the literary response associated with the change andcontinuityof the traditional social system. Malay classical and semi-historical works notably the Sejarah Melayu;' Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai; 2 Hikayat Hang Tuah;3 Silsilah Melayu dan Bugis4 and the Hikayat Marong Maha'MIngsa5 show the Malay social system of old to be structured of three component groups viz., the aristocracy (royat and non-royal) ; the armed retainers and the subjects. It was a typically feudal system and following Stanislav Andreski's characteriza- tion of such a system, rule was by a hereditary nobility; the economy was largely agrarian; the custom was to reward administrative and military services by
Asian Journal of Social Science – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1975
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