Literature | Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 | sundanesecorner.org
Two things make me happy in receiving a copy of this interesting book from the kind Singapore-based publisher. First, the author mentions my humble name in the index, and quotes my modest note on a Sundanese author as well. Second, one of various references cited in the book is a Sundanese literary work by the late Kadir Tisna Sudjana (KTS), in which I myself am deeply interested.
Of Palm Wine, Women and War (2013) is a scholarly work on the history and legend of the Mongolian naval expedition to Java in the 13th century. The author is Dr David Bade, Senior Librarian and Monographic Cataloger at the University of Chicago’s Joseph Regenstein Library.
I gained the privilege to know David and his work when he sent me an electronic mail on November 2010. He was working on a revision of a book he wrote a few years earlier about the Mongol invasion of Java in 1293. One of the historical works that he discussed was the Babad Majapait by KTS. He asked me whether I know of anything about the writer.
Fortunately, I had a simple note on KTS and his works. To the best of my knowledge, KTS was one of well-known postwar Sundanese poets and writers. He was born in West Java’s regency of Subang on December 1st, 1912. I pleasantly sent my note to David for I thought that it was my duty to help make anything about the beloved Sundanese literature and culture known by the world.
KTS wrote a tale of the Javanese kingdom of Majapait in Sundanese. The latest edition of this work was published in Jakarta in 1979. The late Rusman Sutiasumarga, his fellow Sundanese writer, translated KTS’ work into Indonesian and published it in 1987. In his book, David translates the Indonesian version of KTS’ work into English.
I greatly appreciate David’s book. In my humble opinion, his English version of KTS’ Babad Majapait is of great value for the conservation and development of Sundanese literature.***