Seeking Hang Tuah
Author: Muhammad Haji Salleh
Hang Tuah is a culture hero without compare, in Malay Literature and beyond. For more than 500 years he has been present in the oral words, the Hikayat, traditional theatre, poetry, comics and critical discourse, for within his person, he combines the social and moral ideals of Malaysian as well as many others in the Malay world. For all these years, he has also been present in the Malay sub-conscience because for many, he represents the values and identity of the Malays and Malaysians, the Indonesians, Singaporeans and Bruneians.
Prof. Muhammad Haji Salleh - the prolific scholar - has recently transcribed the earliest version of the Hikayat Hang Tuah. He has also translated one of its versions into English, a formidable work of 500 pages.
After 40 years of studying the narrative and the hero (and his comrades), he is an eminently qualified guide to seeking out Hang Tuah. In this book, Professor Muhammad delves into the hero's character, and the Hikayat from several perspectives - his origins, youth, principle of leadership, knighthood, ideas of loyalty and rebellion, travels and spaces acquaints us with his deeds and journey, his values, and the principal qualities that have endeared him to the generations.
He has also traced the contemporary discourse, not only about Hang Tuah and his friend/antagonist, Hang Jebat, but aksi the relentless development of the epic in the sea of stories in the secondary and tertiary oralities, and in our academic halls and public spaces.