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Southeast Asian Literature. Philippines, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thailand, Burma, Laos. Introductions Role of Literature in the community that reads them Different Genres Themes Highlights from the different countries. Topics of Discussion. Roles Literature is Education

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Southeast Asian Literature

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southeast asian literature

Southeast Asian Literature

Philippines, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thailand, Burma, Laos

  • Role of Literature in the community that reads them
  • Different Genres
  • Themes
  • Highlights from the different countries
topics of discussion
Topics of Discussion
  • Roles
    • Literature is Education
    • Literature is Hope
    • Literature is a subversive act
literature is hope
Literature is Hope
  • “Even in hopelessness there is hope” (Prof. Grant Olson)
    • Poem (Burma) “Let’s Go to Tahiti”
    • Short Story (Vietnamese) To Live
    • Novel (Philippines) Noli Me Tangere
  • “Writers hope to bring the spirit of reform into all spheres of life”
literature is education
Literature is Education
  • Living History
  • Gives a voice to the people
  • Conveys quality of life
  • Geography - Rural vs. Urban
  • Shows people land and relate to it
Demonstrate in Culture
  • Shows how complex everything is
  • Pictures ethnic conflict
literature is education7
Literature is Education
  • Explores relationship between Men and Women and identifies gender role
  • Political Power and its corruption
literature is a subversive act
Literature is a Subversive Act
  • A medium for change
  • Writers and Readers alike join in the act
  • Promotes Social Responsibility and Social Consciousness
  • Traditional Oral Literature- Folktales, Proverbs, Riddles, legends
  • Religious Narratives and Literature- Buddhist Codes and verses, Jataka Tales
  • Narrative Poetry - Epic Stories
Non-narrative Poetry - songs, love poems etc.
  • Historical Novels
  • Contemporary Literature - novels, short stories, poems,
  • Animals and Forest
  • Supernatural/Mythical Beings and their journeys
  • Gender Roles
Strong Familial Relationship, loyalty and Identity, Ethnocentricity
  • Prostitution
  • Rural vs. Urban
Poignancy of Love Relationship
  • Wheels of Fate
  • Importance of Reciprocity
  • Struggles between humanity and poverty
Strength of Human Character
  • Political Corruption
  • Nationalism and anti-colonialism
other themes
Other themes
  • Fortune Telling
  • Karma, Justice, Responsibility and Retribution
  • Nature, Society, and Humanity uniting together
Sadness of life
  • River is life and society
  • the will to love
  • Literature based on expressive Culture
    • epics
    • myths
    • legends, tales
    • riddles, proverbs and rituals
    • balagtasan
philippine epics
Philippine Epics
  • Cultural Values and Universal Themes of Epic Poetry
    • Miraculous birth of the hero
    • his precocious strength
    • magical powers
herculean deeds
  • extraterestial journeys to the underworld and sky world
  • his death and resuscitation
Epic of Romance
  • Epic of Migration
vietnam literature
Vietnam Literature
  • Rich, varied expressing over the centuries.
  • Depicts humor, realism, and irony of the Vietnamese people
  • Oriental Philosophy - a system that harmonizes the natural and social world that includes humanity in the center uniting with nature and society.
Oriental Philosophy discovered not only the three directions of time (past, present, future) but also a 4th direction - the direction of spiritual life.
oriental philosophy that influence vn literature
Oriental Philosophy that Influence Vn Literature
  • Buddhism
  • Confucianism
  • Taoism - that is mainly a combination of folk beliefs and high regard of nature
  • Animism (10th Century - where strong winds, the waters, and the mountain were worshipped
principal tenets of this 4 oriental philosophy
Principal Tenets of this 4 Oriental Philosophy
  • “Nature and society and humanity unite with one another in a harmony of beauty. The link of human generations and thousands of living creatures never ends. (Phuc Cu De, 1999)
NONE turns HAVE - NONE means endless, boundless, immense, infinite, numberless in moving and changing movements and the developing process of everything.
HAVE is not simply possessive in meaning but it means the limitation of changing and the developing process ofeverything. (Phuc Cu De, 1999)
Man = Great Universe = Great Nature and Society
  • “Nature, Society, and Humanity Unite with one Another in a harmony of beauty.”
  • “The link of human generations and thousand of living creatures never ends.”
  • Anonymous Literature (Oral)
    • Legends
    • Proverbs
    • Songs that depicts aspects of traditional society
Folk Literature (17th and 18th century)
    • Fables
    • Satirical and narrative poems
    • Verse Novels
Verse Novels
    • first verse has 6 feet
    • 2nd verse has 8 feet
    • 6th character of the second verse rhymes with the last character of the first verse
    • these novels are recited and sung from village to village
Texts indicate chinese influence, chinese characters (Tom language) and chinese conception of literary style
Modern Literature - texts are evidence of realism as a repurcussion of 30+ of warit also shows a literary dichotomy created by the partition of Vietnam in 1954.
  • “Through literature, writers hoped to bring the spirit of reform into all spheres of Vietnamese life.”
  • Religion
    • Jataka Tales a.k.a Aesops Fables
    • Fate and Karma
    • Buddhist Concepts of Merit and Demerit
    • The Theme of Rice - gather as much as you need for one day
  • Ramayana - The Journey of Rama
    • Purpose: To conquer evil with good
    • Important Notions: Meditation, Power of Language, Hierarchy/caste
  • Secular texts - much richer than religious texts
    • popular and classical lietrature are well known at all levels of society although authors names are unknown and texts are undated and undatable
      • 1. Stories, legends and poem of oral tradition are satirical in tone
      • Stories called sysva have strong moral and education content
3. Tales that comment on the naivety of the peasantry, the greediness of the wealthy and the demands of the royalty
  • 4. Judicial stories which include commentaries on ancient Lao codes
  • 5. Historical Legends - e.g. History of Khun Purom which recount the legendary migration of the Tai Peoples from China to Luang Prabang
6. Poetry that are predominantly Buddhist and inspired to the licentious
  • 7. Classical Lao Literature - written in prose and verse form, lenghty and not original. Themes include handsome priest, the heroin is a beautiful princess and the antagonist a demon. There is also a Lao version of the Ramayana
  • Buddhism
  • Anti-government, expose’ of government corruption