Bruneian Literature in English: An Observation

Guest Article by Kathrina Mohd Daud
November 5, 2016

Preamble

Disclaimer: Most of my thoughts here are speculative and in no way constitute definitive statements on the state of Bruneian literature in English. For more rigorous analyses, I can point you towards some of my academic work on Bruneian literature in particular: I have an article in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, a book chapter in The Use and Status of English in Brunei Darussalam: A Kingdom of Unexpected Linguistic Diversity, a forthcoming chapter in a volume called Women in Postcolonial Southeast Asian Literature and another forthcoming article in a special issue of the journal World Englishes. I discuss various aspects of Bruneian literature and narrative-making in English and Malay in these publications, including representations of women, horror story tropes, and the imaginative horizons of Bruneian fiction.

I have followed with interest the development of local writing movements, including original theatrical productions such as Jongsarat by non-profit organization Seeds, and the writing jams and Spoken Word events organized by indie publishers Heartwrite. When talking to people interested in these events, it seems to me that there is a general desire for literary and artistic community, but that there is also uncertainty about positioning oneself within a genealogy of Bruneian narrative-making. Faiq Airudin puts it excellently in his post about Bruneian Creative Industries and the tendency to “firstisms”; I hope this article will be of interest to Bruneian writers and readers interested in Bruneian literary history in English.

I leave it to someone much more informed than me to write something on Bruneian theatre and local productions (which I will obviously read with great interest).

Existing Bruneian literature in English

First, a look at the numbers. I’ve compiled what I think is a fairly comprehensive list of Bruneian literature in English (a version of this list first appeared earlier this year in the Springer chapter referenced above), although I strongly suspect that there are other works that I’m not aware of.

One of my motivations for writing this article for Open Brunei is to crowdsource information on Anglophone Bruneian literature – defined in this article as literature written primarily in English, and is about Brunei or by a Bruneian. I’m hoping that if any readers know of a text that fits the criteria, you’ll let me know so that we can build a comprehensive corpus of information.

(Open Brunei team adds: Kathrina says she can be contacted at kathrinadaud@gmail.com)

Some facts and figures

(Click the tabs below to browse the tables for Fiction, Drama, and Poetry)

FictionDramaPoetry
Year of publication Title Author Publisher
Fiction
2009 The Wild Men of the East Selamat Munap Raider Publishing
2010 Crosswise the Boulevard: An Extraordinary Love Saga M. Faisal Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka
2011 Four Kings Christopher Sun CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
2013 The Forlorn Adventure Amir Falique Trafford Publishing
2014 Written in Black KH Lim Monsoon Books
2016 The Last Bastion of Ingei Aammton Alias Smashwords
Year of publication Title Author Publisher
Drama
2014 In the spotlight: An Anthology of Bruneian plays in English Edited by Grace VS Chin Creative Industries Research Cluster, Universiti Brunei Darussalam
Year of publication Title Author Publisher
Poetry
1998 Under the Canopy and Other Poems: English Poetry in Brunei Edited by Vaughan Rapatahana Center for British Teachers
2004 Brunei River and Other Poems (Translation) Azeez Star Trading & Printing Sdn Bhd
2009 The Swan Scripts Shai Omarali CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
2009 Young Dreams Izzati Jamil Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka
2012 Tribute to Brunei and Other Poems John Onu Odihi Trafford Publishing
2013 Streak of Colour Winter Frostt Trafford Publishing
2015 Moments of Nil Flora Tavu Partridge Singapore

(more…)

Categories: Culture

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Brunei Online: Better Data (Part I)

By Hazirah on January 25, 2016

DATA (header)

DATA (header)

An estimated 13-min read. I’ve split this into two parts because, as usual, it got unwieldy and I was never going to see a finished version otherwise. Thank you for reading.

An introduction

On Open Brunei, and as individuals, we’ve been dealing with data, collecting it, and making sense of it. The facts project Bruakal involves looking for statistics, sometimes even calculating them ourselves using the figures we find. Faiq’s article Brunei Box Office 2014 involved manually collecting titles of films shown over a year.

In particular, there is a gap that I’m interested in – gaps where we have general questions about Brunei, but the interested individual is unable to get answers – and I would like to see attempts to fill up this gap. I am particularly interested in the kind of questions that can be answered with data.

Data itself is not that always what we need most; we need the information that comes from analysing or processing data. In general, having more Brunei information out there would be ideal.

For example, having case studies:

Finding information on government websites:

Even then, this is an article about sharing and reusing data. While I will be sharing some thoughts about Brunei data, there are some open questions, and I certainly don’t have the answers to everything.

(more…)

Categories: Technology

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Brunei Box Office 2014

By Faiq on May 24, 2015

Brunei-Box-Office-2014

 

A look at films distributed in a calendar year.  Film titles were collated from Sunday editions of The Brunei Times.

The data contains: language, genre (arranged alphabetically), runtime, IMDB score, Rotten Tomatoes score and film rating. Film rating for a majority of film are from the British Board of Film Classification, while others are from the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia.

(more…)

Categories: Culture

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Being Financially Independent

Guest Article by Era
January 5, 2015

Era writes about personal finance on her blog @ najibahabdullah.com and the following is her insightful article on managing personal finance in Brunei:
‘MILLENNIALS REDEFINING THE WORKPLACE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT’

So I learnt recently about the four generations that are in the workplace.  So for those who do not know this, there are four generations in the workplace known as :

  1. Veterans (1922-1943) – 71 until 92 yrs
  2. Baby Boomers (1943-1960) – 54 until 71 yrs
  3. Gen X (1960-1980) – 34 until 54 years
  4. Millennials (1980-2000) – 14 until 34 years

(more…)

Categories: Culture, Economics

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Drones and the Face

By Columnist on September 25, 2014

As a Bruneian it might seem unimportant to you to think about drones. But with the right mindset even a subject so remote from you can change the way you think about your everyday life. Drones are essentially aircraft without pilots present in the aerial vehicle. They are instead controlled by ‘pilots’ from the ground in a remote location. In recent years, there has been a commercialization of drones by companies such as Amazon who are testing them for a new delivery system. However drones are used mainly for reconnaissance, surveillance, and warfare. By equipping drones with missiles and bombs, military strategy has become more efficient and it is possible to engage in warfare without being in the warzone. In many other fields, technology has made it easier to save lives (medicine), improve living (energy), or keep in touch (communication). In this field, technology has made it easier to kill.

(Read full article)

Categories: Philosophy, Technology

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