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Bali: A Paradise Created Paperback – June, 1997

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Paperback, June, 1997
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From the artists and writers of the 1930s to the Eat, Pray, Love tours so popular today, Bali has drawn hoards of foreign visitors and transplants to its shores. What makes Bali so special, and how has it managed to preserve its identity despite a century of intense pressure from the outside world? Bali: a Paradise Created bridges the gap between scholarly works and more popular travel accounts. It offers an accessible history of this fascinating island and an anthropological study not only of the Balinese, but of the paradise-seekers from all parts of the world who have invaded Bali in ever-increasing numbers over the decades. It shows how Balinese culture has pervaded film, art, literature and music so that even those whoÆve never been there have enjoyed a glimpse of paradise. This authoritative, much-cited work is now updated with new photos and illustrations, a new introduction, and new text covering the past 20 years.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Adrian Vickers is Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Sydney, where he is Director of the Australian Center for Asian Art and Archaeology. His numerous works include Peradaban Pesisir (Coastal Civilisation, 2009), Journeys of Desire (2005], and A History of Modern Indonesia (2005). His curatorial work includes the exhibition Crossing Boundaries: A Window into Twentieth-Century Indonesian Art (2002-3) and I Nyoman Mandra: A Retrospective (2009). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Periplus Editions (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945971281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945971283
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,141,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Renee Thorpe on October 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sober but quite colorful narrative of the history of the history of Bali. (That is not a typo).
Vickers starts out with about 30 somewhat lacklustre pages tackling the topic of how the Balinese themselves recorded their history. He does an admirable job of garnering what details he can from what little must still be in existence of pre-Dutch Balinese historical texts. Then Vickers turns on the heat with his isolation of who it was that "discovered the Balinese breast!" (A European doctor who did plenty of homework)!
Much amusement and fun follows, along with profound explorations of the evolution of Bali's image as both a paradise on earth and a land of strange magic and the supernatural... the so-called island of the Gods.
Vickers' book really makes the reader aware of how historic and cultural details get lost along the way to progress and prosperity. It is a complex series of actions and decisions that have shaped today's Balinese culture. Vickers shows plenty of sympathy for artists ignored by influential Baliphile Walter Spies (who, possibly more than any other westerner, has shaped the 'look' of what we think of as traditional Balinese arts and crafts). Yet this isn't a treatise from a bleeding heart, and he shows how forces other than western colonialism are as much to blame for that which makes people use the tired exclamation that Bali is not what it used to be.
Vickers shows the importance of WHO observes, catalogs, records, and promotes a culture. There is plenty of food for thought about the shortcomings of a plan to make a culture sit in a vaccuum instead of evolve with the ideas of its people.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tom Munro on March 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you read most travel books aimed at the Lonley Planet market the most common mantra is how tourism and western influences destroy traditional societies. Naturally this is a proposition which has a bit of trut to it. The movement of travellers can lead to people in some countries becoming beggars or quasi beggars. Tourism can also create a superficial materialism that is unattractive to some compared to more traditional cultures.
This book however suggests rather alarmingly that the reverse is the case. Bali is an island in Indonesia which is famous for its culture. Unlike the rest of Indonesia it never converted from Hinduism and the island is vibrant with art and dance.
The author of this book suggests that a good deal of this culture has been created by the west. His evidence is that some of the "tradional" dances such as the monkey dance were actually invented by a western film maker in the 30's. The argument is stronger in suggesting that the growth of art and culture in the Island has blossomed and been made possible by the influx of tourists interested in buying it.
The author compares the basically fuedal society of the 1030's when art existed but was limited, to the current situation in which the market has exploded.
The book also shows how western ideas of the island as a tropical paradise were developed by early travellers with a romantic imagination, no doubt influenced by previous customs of woman not covering the upper torso of their bodies.
All in all and interesting and challenging read if you have been to Bali and have been expossed to the normal propoganda.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book, a real classic, about Bali and how it inspired many other books and dreams. I love it and am delighted to have a copy.
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By Barbara F. on May 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
thought-provoking book, glad to have it!
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