Myth, Magic and Mystery in Bali is essentially a collection of stories, but it is much more than you would expect.
In their own way, each story provides unique insight into the lives, beliefs and even psyche of the Balinese people – at times presented with great humour. Jean Couteau’s knowledge of Bali allows us to plunge deep into the local culture, made possible through a journey rich with village myths and religious folklore, mystical rites and eye opening first-hand accounts. Collectively, the stories in this book help to preserve a portion of the island’s heritage; together they provide little tastes of various aspects of local Balinese culture. Unlike other books that describe subjective reports of Bali, Jean, with his ability to read and write in Indonesian, Balinese and even Kawi gives us expert understanding. Why is Bali called the Island of the Gods? Where does the sinful Balinese soul go after its body dies? And, can the Balinese really talk to spirits? Jean Couteau answers in detail the burning questions many have about Bali, whilst opening further mysteries along the way as well. What is clear throughout this book however is that Jean’s stories pay homage to the charm and beauty of the Balinese people and their wonderful way of life.
There is a state in Bali, somewhere between the visible and the invisible, in which ordinary people live their lives, slipping between the conscious and the imagination, behaving normally but constantly aware that there is another universe, always ready to encroach for good or evil, into theirs!
This is a world of village characters, and princesses, of demons and fisherman, of peeping toms and vengeful gods, of rite and ritual, of everyday life and eternity.
This series of stories written by historian, art critic and cultural devotee, Jean Couteau, is absolutely unique. He has a voice, trained in the classics, honed in the fields, perfected in his imagination that leaves his French roots behind and brings life in Bali literally to life.
We must spread the word about the continued marvel of Bali, and preserve its mystery as long as possible. This book will help to bring alive the magic of life in Bali, to reveal (but not explain) the mystery, to perpetuate the myths and encourage people to look away from the glitz and glamour of the beach clubs and the five star hotels, to the villages and temples, to the fishing villages not the surf beaches, to the mountains not the restaurants. There you will discover what real Bali is all about.
Jean Couteau is an extraordinary man, full of Gallic charm and wit, but humble in his mastery of the language and customs of his adopted home. I am very pleased that I met him so many years ago and that he has made so many of my magazines come alive with his insight and knowledge. Thank you Jean.
Alistair Speirs, OBE - Publisher
Size: 21cm (W) x 23cm (H)Softcover
Pages: 124 pages including Cover in English
Shipping Weight: 1 kg
Published: Phoenix Communications Publishers
Regular Retail Price: Rp 250,000
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