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The Language of Balinese Shadow Theater

The Language of Balinese Shadow Theater

MARY SABINA ZURBUCHEN
Copyright Date: 1987
Pages: 308
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvpqd
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  • Book Info
    The Language of Balinese Shadow Theater
    Book Description:

    Bali's shadow puppet theater, like others in Southeast Asia, is a complex tradition with many conventions that puzzle Western observers. Mary Zurbuchen demonstrates how the linguistic codes of this rich art form mediate between social groups, cultural influences, historical periods, and conceptual schemes.

    Originally published in 1987.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5876-7
    Subjects: Performing Arts
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Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. VII-VIII)
  3. PREFACE Invocation for the Performance of Shadow Theater (pp. IX-XII)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (pp. XIII-XIV)
  5. ORTHOGRAPHY (pp. XV-XVI)
  6. PART ONE THE SHAPE OF THE WORD IN BALI
    • [PART ONE Introduction] (pp. 1-6)

      In the long history of Western scholarly commentary on Bal1, the phenomena of language and literary arts have never been overlooked, indeed, in some of the earliest general accounts, such as those by Crawfurd (1820) and Fnedench (1876-1878), the possible origins and observed transmission of literary languages and manuscripts were discussed at length Subsequent generations of researchers, including van der Tuuk, Gons, and Hooykaas among the most prominent, have continued to labor in the fields of lexicography, epigraphy, and textual studies, these and many other scholars have contributed the collections of manuscripts, translations, and critical editions that form the basis...

    • 1 LANGUAGE PATTERNS AND THE LINGUIST’S VIEW (pp. 7-40)

      The language world of Bal1 is one of remarkable richness and diversity in all its spoken, written, sung, and chanted manifestations. So various are the different linguistic forms employed, so complex the interweaving of vocal styles and literary genres, that both language and literature seem a tangled confusion that escapes characterization and conceals both sources and structures. Yet this linguistic proliferation is indeed like a richly woven fabric, no matter how complex the design, a discemable warp and weft underlie its form and provide essential unity.

      Two general descriptive dimensions have long been important in language studies the diachronic, or...

    • 2 LANGUAGE FROM BIRTH TO DEATH (pp. 41-81)

      Language, even though a universal human attribute, may not always possess universal significance across cultures. That is to say, different language groups may view the place of language in the world, and in human experience, in different ways Beliefs about language in turn reflect as well as shape the techniques a culture uses for processing and communicating knowledge. The Balinese manifest complex beliefs about language consistent with their elaborate material and ritual culture, m surveying these beliefs we are brought into contact with an equally ornate system of metaphysical interpretations. These interpretations have important bearing on vocal traditions, literary forms,...

    • 3 LITERATE TRADITIONS AND LITERARY ACTS (pp. 82-112)

      The previous chapter has concentrated on certain cultural aspects of language in relation to both the average Balinese and the more specialized person adept in the manuscript tradition An important symbolic dimension evoked by the nature of language as script was noted in the discussion on mystic interpretations of writing Yet in Chapter 1, it was pointed out that manuscripts coming under the heading of “verbal art” are regularly performed orally and rarely read silently by individuals¹Traditional literature in Bah, then, presents us with a situation in which texts in the form of written manuscripts are nevertheless experienced as vocal...

  7. PART TWO THE DISCOURSE OF BALINESE SHADOW THEATER
    • [PART TWO Introduction] (pp. 113-122)

      It is surprising that, among all of Bali’s varied dramatic arts, the shadow theater(wayang)has received relatively little detailed attention in the works of scholars The standard treatise on dance and drama of the island (de Zoete and Spies 1938, new edition 1973) mentions wayang only in passing¹ In the most popular introduction to Balinese culture in general, Covarrubias (1937 243) gives some description of the setting and technique of wayang, noting that even though foreign visitors might not see much of interest in the drama,

      [w]ith its elaborate magic, religious significance, its undiminished popularity, and as the probable...

    • 4 SPEAKING THE PLAY: THE USE OF KAWI (pp. 123-182)

      The purpose of the present chapter is to analyze the way a wayang play is spoken, examining the linguistic forms employed by the dalang.Wayang parwais without doubt one of the most remarkable of Bali’s many modes of discourse, and each performance constitutes a unique text that cannot be adequately captured by any one medium of reproduction. Thus, at the same time that we concentrate on the purely verbal material of the shadow play in this discussion, we must keep in mind the continuous interweaving of musical accompaniment, the movement and visually oriented staging techniques, and the social and...

    • 5 SPEAKING THE PLAY: THE USE OF BALINESE (pp. 183-205)

      Balinese language as used in wayang parwa is a separate realm from that of Kawi, both linguistically and rhetorically It is the particular province of the fourparekan‘court retainers’, characters so wellloved by Balinese audiences, so crucial to the play, and so important as general cultural symbols that their origins and role bear careful scrutiny. The different terms used to identify this group of characters reveal various aspects of its identity and function as perceived by the Balinese

      The termparekanis from a Balineseroot parek(‘to approach’, a related form,pack, means ‘near’) According to notions of...

    • 6 SHAPING, SELECTING, AND SETTING THE PLAY (pp. 206-254)

      Up to this point, the discussion of Balinese wayang parwa has focused on characteristic verbal forms. This information is only one part of what we need to know and understand about the textuahty of any wayang performance. By “textuahty,” I mean those elements, structures, constraints, and contrastive dimensions that together lend aesthetic unity and coherence to a work of verbal art.

      In Chapters 4 and 5, we considered fundamental linguistic patterns, all of which are part of the play’s structure below the level of “act” or “scene” We have thus posited a typology of language forms that constrain the play...

    • 7 CULTURAL CHANGE AND NOETIC CHANGE (pp. 255-266)

      In describing the characteristics of the discourse of Balinese shadow theater, I have drawn on diverse information bearing on language in its cultural context. “Noetic” is a term for those aspects of language form and function that indicate how culturally valued information is shaped, stored, retrieved, and communicated. In Bali, the media of the voice and the written word are shaped in unique ways to produce creations of verbal art such as the wayang.

      It would not be accurate, however, to portray a configuration of media techniques and effects of those techniques that purported to be static and unchanging. Like...

  8. APPENDIX (pp. 267-268)
  9. GLOSSARY (pp. 269-274)
  10. BIBLIOGRAPHY (pp. 275-286)
  11. INDEX (pp. 287-291)
  12. Back Matter (pp. 292-292)