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Old 3rd December 2021, 05:02 PM   #1
Marcokeris
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Default Invisibile world

I am very surprised that I have never read a single comment on Mrs. Vanna Ghiringhelli's latest book here.
I am writing this not to advertise the book .... but only for observation
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Old 3rd December 2021, 07:57 PM   #2
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Hello Marco,
It was advertised by Patrick in the Keris Swap Forum on 25th November 2020 but nobody discussed on it indeed (I got the book and commented directly to Vanna, another very good book from her).
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Old 3rd December 2021, 09:06 PM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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Marco, I know that Vanna has a new book in production, but I thought that publication is still on the way.
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Old 4th December 2021, 07:25 AM   #4
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I have been meaning to write a review of it for some time. Hmm. This may spur me to do it sooner rather than later.
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Old 4th December 2021, 05:22 PM   #5
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I read it. Well written with good production value. Mrs Ghiringhelli's scolarship and passion is appreciated as well as her willingness to make an English translation. For these qualities alone I say thank you. Interesting, if not an absolute page turner. The bibliography was a nice list for suggested reading, but well done books' always are I particularly liked the advice of obtaining a Keris Buda to moderate a group of newer keris' behavior. Mrs. Ghiringhelli had a tough task in this book of balancing between new readers and well read students hungry for new and esoteric keris knowledge in print. Printing the unsaid with authority may be an unachievable goal, or if too much is said a sacrilege (jaga, I believe you have been considering this question among others if I am not mistaken?). All in all, I liked her hilts book better. I believe both in content and artistically Keris Hilts was her most successful endeavor. At least the one that left the most lasting impression. I think I have learned more from this thread's contributors writings than the book in question. After writing this I think I will give The Invisable World of the Keris a reread to insure the books message didn't go over my head. It is definitely worth that. Maybe when I finally get a chance to read Groneman and Haryoguritmo I will feel enlightened.

On and off topic jaga and Mr. Maisey have me questioning if all old keris were created equally in an animated, golum kind of sense.

Last edited by Interested Party; 4th December 2021 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 4th December 2021, 07:59 PM   #6
A. G. Maisey
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No IP, all old keris were not created equal.

In traditional Jawa/Bali belief only a keris made by an Empu could possess esoteric qualities. Only the empus knew the correct mantras, as well as the other requirements for creation of the keris as shrine and/or pusaka.

This is not to say that all keris made by an empu were made as keris with a spiritual value.

IP, if you have not yet read:-

Visible and Invisible Realms-Margaret J.Wiener
ISBN 0-226-88582-8/1,The University of Chicago Press


I suggest that your time would be well spent in doing so.
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Old 5th December 2021, 01:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
IP, if you have not yet read:-

Visible and Invisible Realms-Margaret J.Wiener
ISBN 0-226-88582-8/1,The University of Chicago Press


I suggest that your time would be well spent in doing so.
I am ashamed to admit that I could not read more than 80 pages of this academic book, and I subsequently selected the pages relevant to the keris only... Am I the only one?
Regards
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Old 5th December 2021, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
I am ashamed to admit that I could not read more than 80 pages of this academic book, and I subsequently selected the pages relevant to the keris only... Am I the only one?
Regards
Also I Jean :-D
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Old 5th December 2021, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
No IP, all old keris were not created equal.

IP, if you have not yet read:-

Visible and Invisible Realms-Margaret J.Wiener
ISBN 0-226-88582-8/1,The University of Chicago Press


I suggest that your time would be well spent in doing so.
You recommended this once before. I have been making slow progress through it. Hopefully this winter will be lower stress and with the extra energy I will hit my stride and finish it.
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Old 5th December 2021, 07:40 PM   #10
A. G. Maisey
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I am very sorry that you found it heavy going gentlemen, but neither you, Jean, nor you Marco are native English speakers, so to even get through part of a book written in a foreign language is very good going.

Personally, I do not regard this book as particularly academic, it was given to me by Garrett Solyom's wife, she knew the author, and when I got it, I read it in one sitting, since then I've read it again at least once, and I've been back to it numerous times. Unlike many serious books it is totally unpretentious and I think the text flows well.

IP, I assume you are a native English speaker, please forgive me if I am being presumptuous. It is difficult to really settle to reading anything when there are other things calling for our attention, maybe all you need is a bit of the upcoming winter. As Jean & Marco have commented, there is a distinct keris "section" in this book, but in my opinion there is at least as much value for somebody trying to come to terms with the keris in Bali, in the parts of the book that do not mention the keris.

The keris is only a blossom of the Balinese culture, but just as with other blossoms we need to understand the soil from which it has grown, if we wish to understand the flower.
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Old 5th December 2021, 09:13 PM   #11
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Thank you Alan for your understanding, and Marco and IP for your frankness.
Honestly it was not a problem of understanding the text which made it difficult to read in my case but the contents of the text itself which I found quite outside my scope of interest.
I read another book about Bali in the 19th century written by Ide Anak Gde Agung which is much more accessible...
Regards
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Old 5th December 2021, 10:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I am ashamed to admit that I could not read more than 80 pages of this academic book, and I subsequently selected the pages relevant to the keris only... Am I the only one?
Regards
Well, i have read it twice and skimmed many sections since.
As Alan has pointed out, the none keris sections may be as important to understanding the keris in a Balinese context as the more specific keris sections are. As has been pointed out many times in these pages, you simply cannot understand keris in a vacuum. Getting a grasp of the cultural and historical context in which the keris flourished is most important.
While i did not quite find the book as easy to read as Alan i also didn't find it to be too academic in nature. Some of it is indeed quite dense though and i can certainly understand how it can be considered difficult reading, especially if English is a second language. Unfortunately the history itself is dense and complicated, so i'm not sure there is any better way to present it. I would suggest giving it another go if you can stand it. I honestly think it is one of the most important books out there for understanding the keris in Bali.
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Old 6th December 2021, 10:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Well, i have read it twice and skimmed many sections since.
As Alan has pointed out, the none keris sections may be as important to understanding the keris in a Balinese context as the more specific keris sections are. As has been pointed out many times in these pages, you simply cannot understand keris in a vacuum. Getting a grasp of the cultural and historical context in which the keris flourished is most important.
While i did not quite find the book as easy to read as Alan i also didn't find it to be too academic in nature. Some of it is indeed quite dense though and i can certainly understand how it can be considered difficult reading, especially if English is a second language. Unfortunately the history itself is dense and complicated, so i'm not sure there is any better way to present it. I would suggest giving it another go if you can stand it. I honestly think it is one of the most important books out there for understanding the keris in Bali.
Thank you David. Like IP I may find the stamina for fully reading it by small bits...
I do not pretend being a serious keris student for various reasons (access to reliables sources, foreign culture, mythical aspects, etc) and I admit that my passion for the keris is largely due to its extraordinary artistic & craftmanship value. After all the great collectors of the past like the Morozov brothers did the same...
Regards
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Old 6th December 2021, 11:56 AM   #14
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Agreed Jean.

Nothing wrong with being a pure collector, I was probably a pure collector for perhaps the first 20 or so years of my serious involvement with keris, but as I learnt more, my focus changed.

It just demonstrates what a complex, multi-faceted object the keris is.

I guess there is still a part of me that is collector, its just that where keris are concerned I now collected from a different perspective.
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