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Malay words and Malay things; lexical souvenirs from an exotic archipelago in German publications before 1700.


Malay words and Malay things; lexical souvenirs from an exotic archipelago in German publications before 1700.

Mahdi, Waruno.



396 pages



Frankfurter Forschungen zu Sudostasien; v.3


Mahdi (chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society) analyzes what Europeans knew, or thought they knew, about the Malayan world. Among the many revelations here is that the concept of "Malaya" was rather loose and included variable stretches of geography. This results in massive amounts of information, which Mahdi sorts logically, creating a series of structured narratives analyzing European ideas about curiosity, adventure and commerce, work by German and other scholars written on site or without benefit of personal contact, linguistic materials by German employees of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), including Malay terms in published memoirs, German compilations and translations after 1648, and accounts from German voyagers who did not publish contemporarily with authors from the VOC. Mahdi includes facsimiles, extensive lists of bibliographic references, an index of persons and another of lexical citations. The result is a fascinating study of early colonialism.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2008
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