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IrrevocableA Philosophy of Mortality$
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Alphonso Lingis

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226556765

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226557090.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 March 2021



(p.23) Shadows

Alphonso Lingis

University of Chicago Press

Wayang orang is the dance drama performed in Java and Bali. The strange angles in which the hands are held, the legs bent, the reversals of the elbows and torso as though the dance could not move in a three-dimensional space, the floating weightlessness are the very movements of the shadow puppets of the wayang kulit, the shadow play. In Java and Bali, and across Cambodia, Siam, and Myanmar, wayang kulit, the shadow play, is the primordial art form, the matrix, of immemorial antiquity, from which dance, wayang orang (theater with human actors), costume, sculpture and temple architecture, painting, and music derive. Western metaphysics distinguishes two orders of reality to then relate them; for the Indonesians this is one system in which becoming real consists in casting shadows. The realm of ancestors is a realm of shadows. It is from the shadows that the dancer of the wayang orang, that is, every villager, contracts form and consistency.

Keywords:   wayang kulit, shadow play, ancestors, reality and its shadows

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