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Malayan Literature

by Anonymous

We think that these folk-stories have, indeed, a common origin, but that it is in the human heart. We do not look for a Sigurd or Siegfried on every page. Imagine a nation springing from an ignorant couple on a sea-girt isle, in a few generations they would have evolved their Sleeping Beauty and their Prince Charming, their enchanted castles, and their Djinns and fairies. These are as indigenous to the human heart as the cradle-song or the battle-cry. We do not find ourselves siding with those who would trace everything to a first exemplar. Children have played, and men have loved, and poets have sung from the beginning, and we need not run to Asia for the source of everything. Universal human nature has a certain spontaneity.

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