Wikipedia:Peer review/Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari/archive1

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Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari[edit]

(more info)

This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because I'd like to try and bring this to featured article status and was wondering how well it reads and how easy it is to follow for people who aren't subject matter experts. I've incorporated every source I could find, but the entire field is terribly underresearched.

Thanks,  — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:50, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Sarastro: An interesting article, and I followed most of it pretty well. Obviously I can't speak for comprehensiveness! Anything I'm not clear on, I've listed below. There are a few prose issues, many of which are nit-picks, and I think the plot section sells it a little short. Sarastro1 (talk) 23:23, 16 March 2013 (UTC)


  • "However, Siti Akbari has remained one of the better known syairs…": Could this just be "remains one of the…"?


  • "Two years later, after Abdul Aidid dies, Abdul Mulan goes on an extended sea voyage, leaving his wife behind": Should this be Abdul Moelan?
  • The plot section seems a little lop-sided. There is quite a lot about Siti Akbari's journeys, but her capture of a country is dismissed in less than a sentence. Maybe this is a reflection of the work, but it reads… well, oddly.
  • I'll try and look at Koster again, but I've been hunting for a copy of this poem for about 3 months now and have yet to find it (otherwise it would be on Commons by now)
  • "When he tries to capture Siti Akbari so that Siti Bida Undara will accept him as her husband": How will doing so achieve this?
  • Removed as it would end up growing a bit too big. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "Unbeknownst": I never like this. Why not "unknown". Or dost thou speaketh so deliberately?
  • Done, although I verily doth enjoy the language. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "silat" is linked, but may be better explained within the text as well.
  • "Killing them, she takes their clothes and cuts her hair, passing as a man": Again, this is lumpy. "Passing" as a man suggests fooling someone; while this is true, at this point surely she was just "disguising herself as a man"? Also, I'm not sure that "Killing them" links to the disguise part of the sentence. What about reworking the two sentences: "When a group of seven men accost and attempt to rape her, she kills them. Taking their clothes and cutting her hair, she disguises herself as a man."
  • "Calling herself Bahara, after arriving in Barbam she stops a war between two pretenders by killing one and giving his head to the other": A bit much here, too, with an odd link between the phrases and a little too much going on. Maybe add the name part to the previous sentence, "disguising herself as a man called Bahara". Then begin next sentence with "after".
  • I'm not sure of the value of linking "cousin marriage" or "repudiate", but I wonder about "pretenders". The general meaning is to be a pretender to a throne. Is this the meaning in this case? If so, perhaps it should be made clear why they were pretenders, to what they were pretenders, and what they proposed to do.
  • Around this point, I get a little lost as a lot happens quickly. What kingdom does Hamid Lauda give to Bahara. Why do we switch between Siti Akbari and Bahari without any real reason?
  • Bahari? I've tried to rephrase. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "This pretender, Hamid Lauda, rewards Bahara with the kingdom and his sister Siti Abian as a wife.": This seems rather abrupt. What kingdom? "and his sister as a wife" seems rather clunky (presumably to avoid gender confusion by using he/she, but maybe rephrasing "as a wife" to "in marriage"?)
  • The lead says "after the Sultan of Hindustan takes over her nation", but this section does not explicitly state so. Also the lead says that she wants to "reestablish her royal husband's power" (should this be "her husband's royal power"?) but the plot section does not say that this is her outcome or intention.
  • Tried to clarify more. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I'll ready Koster's synopsis again later, but I need to get some RL work done first. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)


  • "partially limited": Why "partially"? "slightly" may work better if that is the meaning.
    • Removed, not particularly useful. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:18, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "Koster notes basic structural similarities, as well as the syair serving to increase awareness of the local customs and value systems": Similarities between Siti Akbari and the poems/romances, or similarities between the romances and poems which limited him? We also have "the syair serving to" (noun verbing), and is Koster still noting this? Also, not too sure what we mean by "the syair serving to increase awareness of the local customs and value systems". What local customs? Local to where?
  • "Lie did deviate greatly from the established traditions": Why not just "Lie deviated greatly…"
    • Was meant for contrast, but changed now. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:18, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "monorhymic quatrains": We have two linked terms next to each other, which looks like one long link.
    • Delinked Quatrains as it is the more common term of the two. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:18, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "with each couplet consisting of two lines": with noun verbing… Better to have a new sentence: "Each couplet consists of two lines and each line consists of …"
  • "The end of each line in a quatrain rhymes.": Another slightly uncomfortable construction: maybe "Each line ends in …" Also can we comment on the rhyme pattern? If we have rhyming couplets, we could cut this sentence completely, and just add "rhyming" to couplets in the previous sentence.
  • Removed as "monorhymic" is above. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:18, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "Koster suggests that most of these lines are complete syntactic units": This would seem to be a matter of fact rather than interpretation. Do we need to attributed to Koster? Or maybe "notes" instead of "suggests"?
  • "Siti Akbari differs from contemporary works in that it introduced": Perhaps "in introducing"
  • "despite being royalty and holy men": Would "although" work better than "despite being"?
  • "Tio described the effects of the work as more towards speech than song.": How can an effect be towards something? This would work if we cut "the effects of", and maybe "akin" than towards.


  • "He finds this a representation of the heteroglossia": He finds this? Maybe "describes this as"
  • "As Lie would later go on to write a grammar of Batavian Malay": Maybe "As Lie later wrote"
  • "Benitez finds the poem to show": Finds again, and "finds to show" is ungrammatical.
    • Tried another wording. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:18, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "Zaini-Lajoubert sees the story as promoting": Sees as promoting is also ungrammatical.
  • "She notes that they are not all of the same opinion": After the preceding sentence, "she" is ambiguous.
  • "the trader Safi Oedin refuses to live in accordance with the local customs while he is in a foreign land": Should this be included in the plot section as well?
    • He's in the plot section already, but adding too much about the event would make the plot even more lopsided. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:18, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "Ultimately, however, she finds that Siti Akbari conveys that women should be faithful to their husbands.": "conveys that women should be" does not really work unless "the message" follows "conveys".

Reception and legacy

  • "It later proved to be Lie's most popular work,[23][24] seeing the most reprints out of any of his publications.": Later is unnecessary (it can't be earlier proved) and I'm not a fan of using "see" in this sense. The work did not see anything.
  • "The first, was in 1913 by Hoa Siang In Kiok, while the second reprinting was in 1922 by Kho Tjeng Bie": "and" or a semi-colon would be better than "while" here.
  • "Both were of these new printings consisted of single volume": Missing word? Or is "were" a mistake?
  • "and Tio writes that they contained numerous inaccuracies": Again, not a matter of interpretation, so do we need to attribute this? If there is any doubt, fair enough, but maybe reword as "and, according to Tio, contained numerous inaccuracies".
    • I could remove the "according to Tio", but I'm hedging as I haven't been able to get my hands on any of the original printings. It doesn't seem to have been printed again after 1922. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "and the Dutch colonial government's efforts to use Balai Pustaka to counteract Chinese Malay literature in "low" Malay": Perhaps expand on the background to this a little?
    • He goes in more detail in his dissertation; I'll try to flesh it out (maybe a full paragraph) later. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:18, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "Lie would go on to publish another four novels": Perhaps just "went on".


  • "The literary scholar Monique Zaini-Lajoubert writes that it was translated as Siti Rapiah by Roorda van Eijsinga, while the documentarian C. Hooykaas suggested that the Lie's inspiration had come from a version of Abdul Malik held in the Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences Library in Batavia": Mixed tenses here with "writes" and "suggested".
  • "According Tio, Coolsma's hurried handwriting was unclear; as such, Lie copied the story for him and kept the original.": I'm not seeing the relevance of this. I think it needs spelling out.
    • Expanded a bit
  • "The writer Kwee Tek See followed with another polemic.": Followed what? About what?
  • "Later critics would criticise Lie's other works": Critics…criticise, and a redundant "would".
  • A few more dates in this section would be useful to get a sense of when this was. And presumably, even if the work was a copy, the earlier sections are not invalidated? i.e. it was still hugely important and influential, that no-one cared if it was a copy, and the earlier work was obscure. Sarastro1 (talk) 23:23, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Definitely wasn't invalidated, as you can see by Suryadinata's quote above. However, there were some who found fault with Lie's entire oeuvre. Added a year. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I think I've gotten the plot as best as the sources allow. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:30, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Changes looking good. One point arising: "Benitez considers the poem to forefront...": For this to work, it needs to be "Benitez considers that the poems forefronts..." (although I've never known forefront to be used as a verb; I'd prefer "brings to the forefront" or "highlights") Sarastro1 (talk) 14:32, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Highlight is fine, done. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:31, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment from Dwaipayan
  • "Adapted from a Sundanese translation of the 1846 poem Sjair Abdul Maluk by Raja Ali Haji...". You mean Raja Ali Haji wrote a poem, which was translated in Sudanese, and then Lie Kim Hok used that Sundanese translation as a base to create Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari ? If so, what is the name of the Sundanese translation?
  • "a call for a unified language". Unified language of where (geographically)?
  • Sjair Abdul Muluk or Maluk? Both spelings have been used in the lead.
  • the film adaptation was in which language?
  • Not pertinent for the lede, and I don't think it's really worth mentioning here. We have an article on the film, and they can click through. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:33, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "...dies while imprisoned in Barbari". Where is Barbari? Is it fictional?
  • It's a plot section. Even if the name were real (haven't found any verification, although considering some of the names were changed it is not entirely plausible), they would not be accurate representations of real places. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:33, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "...who trains her in silat (traditional martial arts) and free her husband" You mean train her in free her husband?
  • "and allows the warrior to take his sister, Siti Abian, in marriage". You mean Siti Akbari, disguised s a man, gets Siti Abian as bride?
  • Barmbam versus Barbam? Both spellings are there.
  • "pandji romances" Wikilink or explain?
  • Romances about the prince Pandji. We don't have an article yet, so I've linked to his article. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:33, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • "representative of the cycle of oral law". What is oral law?--Dwaipayan (talk) 16:27, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Law passed from mouth to mouth, unwritten. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:33, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Comments by Wehwalt
I have very few comments. The prose seemed quite effective. Similar caveats to Sarastro1.
  • "to expand upon the genre, although it maintains several of the hallmarks of the genre" I'd lose one genre or the other
  • "Siti Akbari, daughter of the sultan" which?
  • "and allows the warrior" who?
  • Changed to Bahara, in quotation marks. If Akbari were recognisable as a woman I doubt Hamid Lauda would have given her his sister. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:40, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • You are inconsistent in capitalising "sultan".
  • "were given the traits of persons one could find in the colonial capital at Batavia" Real people or character types?
  • I'll give it another read in a day or two to be sure I haven't skipped over stuff.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:09, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the review! Hope you enjoyed the read. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:40, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Arsonal: I took a first reading pass at it (except the plot) to scope out the coverage, so these are some preliminary comments. —Arsonal (talk + contribs)— 10:12, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Should Syair Abdul Muluk be written in the perfected spelling, or was it originally titled that way? You also use Sjair Abdul Muluk in some places.
  • Good catch, I've put them all in the old spelling system, based on this.
  • Given that the information about the adapted work is in the first paragraph of the lead, I assumed it to be an important point and expected it to be mentioned in the Background and writing section, which it was not. Perhaps the Criticism section should be merged into it or split up into the other existing sections as the analysis appears to be more than simple criticism. Based on my next observations, you might have created this section by moving around text from other sections
  • Zaini-Lajoubert, whose name first appeared in the Themes section, did not have her first name and relevant occupation mentioned until the Criticism section.
  • The criticism section used to be titled influences, which was below Themes. This was probably missed in the GA review too. Tried rearranging again. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 10:56, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  • There are two persons with the surname Tio mentioned in this article, so the use of Tio in the last section is ambiguous.