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The Seen and Unseen Worlds in Java, 1726-1749: History, Literature, and Islam in the Court of Pakubuwana II (review)

The Seen and Unseen Worlds in Java, 1726-1749: History, Literature, and Islam in the Court of... The Seen and Unseen Worlds in Java, 1726 ­1749: History, Literature and Islam in the Court of Pakubuwana II. By merle c. ricklefs. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1998. Pp. xxiv + 391. $36 (cloth). In reconstructing the court life and Javanese worldview of the second quarter of the eighteenth century, Merle Ricklefs in The Seen and Unseen Worlds in Java uses Javanese literature of the period as well as earlier works that underwent editing and reinterpretation at the time. This is not a simple or easy task, for Javanese literature is filled with obscurities and hidden meanings. Yet Ricklefs leads his readers through the complexities of the major works of the time with consummate skill and care. This reviewer has never seen Javanese literature employed more skillfully to reconstruct the spiritual structure and mental outlook of a bygone time and place for which few other records exist. The "unseen" world of cosmic forces, made manifest through literature, assumed a primary place in defining the nature of kingship. In itself, Ricklefs's unique methodology is a significant contribution to the historian's craft in discovering the religious and mystical forces shaping the Javanese past. Historians with a specialty in Javanese http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World History University of Hawai'I Press

The Seen and Unseen Worlds in Java, 1726-1749: History, Literature, and Islam in the Court of Pakubuwana II (review)

Journal of World History , Volume 11 (1) – Mar 1, 2000

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-8050
Publisher site
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Abstract

The Seen and Unseen Worlds in Java, 1726 ­1749: History, Literature and Islam in the Court of Pakubuwana II. By merle c. ricklefs. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1998. Pp. xxiv + 391. $36 (cloth). In reconstructing the court life and Javanese worldview of the second quarter of the eighteenth century, Merle Ricklefs in The Seen and Unseen Worlds in Java uses Javanese literature of the period as well as earlier works that underwent editing and reinterpretation at the time. This is not a simple or easy task, for Javanese literature is filled with obscurities and hidden meanings. Yet Ricklefs leads his readers through the complexities of the major works of the time with consummate skill and care. This reviewer has never seen Javanese literature employed more skillfully to reconstruct the spiritual structure and mental outlook of a bygone time and place for which few other records exist. The "unseen" world of cosmic forces, made manifest through literature, assumed a primary place in defining the nature of kingship. In itself, Ricklefs's unique methodology is a significant contribution to the historian's craft in discovering the religious and mystical forces shaping the Javanese past. Historians with a specialty in Javanese

Journal

Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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