The great Greek poet, Horatius in his book Ars Poetica (in Teeuw, 1984: 183) states that the purpose of writing poetry is to give pleasure and be useful ( dulce et utile ). Something that gives pleasure or pleasure means that something can provide entertainment, fun, reassure, and soothe a troubled heart. Something useful is something that can provide benefits, uses, and wisdom. On the basis of the notion that literature gives pleasure and is useful, Effendi (1982: 232-238) calls literature “enjoyment and wisdom”, that is, enjoyment in the literary sense of providing pleasant entertainment and wisdom in the literary sense of giving something or value that is useful for life.
Budi Darma (2004: 4–7) clearly distinguishes two literary genres, namely serious literature and entertainment literature. Serious literature is a literary genre to interpret or literature that tends to stimulate readers to interpret or interpret the meaning of the literary work. Entertainment literature is a literary work to escape from boredom, from daily routines, or from problems that are difficult to solve. Entertainment literature, according to Budi Darma, is entertaining, so many readers love it. Because it is so popular, entertainment literature is also called pop literature, popular literature.
Budi Darma (2004: 6) further explains that one of the characteristics of entertainment literature is that the character is handsome, rich, loved, admired, and able to overcome all kinds of problems easily. Readers are provoked to identify themselves as if they were the characters themselves. By entering entertainment literature, the reader feels as if he is completely great. Therefore, what entertainment literature provoked is nothing but an unattainable dream. The reader is seduced not by the essential problems of life, but by illusion.
Based on his opinion, Budi Darma firmly stated that until the late 1960s to the early 1970s, in various countries, including Indonesia, the object of literary study was limited to serious literature. The study of entertainment literature is considered illegitimate because it offers nothing but an escape from mere boredom. Entertainment literature is used only for fun, not for serious study. Budi Darma’s opinion seems to refer to Damono’s (1999: 144) opinion on the study of popular literature and Sumardjo’s (1979: 18) opinion about the characteristics of pop novels and serious novels.
Budi Darma’s opinion about entertainment literature seems to have received a rebuttal from his own student, Saryono (2009: 202-219), who stated that literature does not only provide experience, knowledge, and awareness, but also entertainment because of any kind of literature (poetry, fiction, and drama) composed honestly and sincerely always radiates the signal of a pleasant play. Saryono also strengthens his opinion with Huizinga’s (1990: 167) statement that poetry (literature) is a game function. Literature takes place in a mental game space, in a world created by the soul for itself, everything that presents a face different from the face in “ordinary life”, and is connected to one another by ties other than those of logic. Every poem as well as rite, entertainment at a feast, social games, artistic skills, tests or riddles to solve, teachings of wisdom, persuasion, witchcraft, divination, prophecy, and competitions. So, every literature, whatever its type, including serious literature, always provides entertainment and activities for those who cultivate it and provides entertainment for our souls, our minds.
The entertainment provided by literature is different from mass entertainment whose model is packaged in performance businesses and advanced technology, such as magic, magic, music, and acrobatics. Literature provides entertainment that contains fun inner games. Literary works can also be staged as entertaining performances, such as poetry musicalization, poetry dramatization, short story reading, or the staging of fragments of novels or folk tales, even literary works can be converted into soap operas or films. However, do not combine literary works with other arts, such as the addition of music, lighting, fashion, stage layout and stage settings, to interfere with the delivery of the meaning of literary works that is entertaining and useful for the continuity of life.
Literature actually provides various kinds of entertainment. The types or kinds of entertainment that exist in literary works also really depend on the sensitivity and sharpness of the reader’s intuition. Readers who are sensitive and intuition sharp will be able to catch entertaining things that are contained in literary works. When someone is reading and understanding literary works, he will find symptoms that are entertaining. For example, most traditional communities in rural areas consider literature (oral stories, fairy tales, legends, myths, epics, fables, solace, poetry and folk theater) to function as entertainment. This means that literature can please or soothe the hearts of those who are troubled, restless, restless, and disappointed. By listening to and watching oral literary performances, they will get entertainment, that is, the heart feels happy, so that for the time being they can get rid of feeling tired, tired, tired, sad, and upset after working in the garden or after returning from fishing. This is in accordance with the condition of traditional rural communities who are still far from modern world civilization.
In the legend and oral literary performance of Marpalol , belonging to the Kafoa Tribe, on Alor Island, East Nusa Tenggara, for example, in building traditional houses, lego-lego dances, village pencak silat, or other literary art attractions are presented. The Marpalol legend is shown as an attempt by rural communities to entertain those who are building traditional houses. In addition, Marpalol performances are also presented to welcome guests of honor, a bridal celebration, and other traditional parties. At the time of the performance, the Kafoa people were present together in a state of joy and united in enjoying the oral literary art performance.
There are various literary genres that provide entertainment. Literature that presents entertainment can be divided into several varieties based on the content and form of delivery. In terms of content, literary works that provide entertainment can be distinguished as follows.
- Literary works that contain stories about human stupidity or ignorance. Such literary works will create very stupid figures, such as Pak Kaduk and Pak Pandir, in old Malay literature. In such literary works, a fool or a fool is used as an object or material for ridicule, laughter, parody, satire, irony, and sarcasm.
- Literary works that contain stories about the luck or luck of a human being. Such literary works will create very lucky characters, such as Pak Belalang (Malay version), si Kabayan (Sundanese version), or Pak Banjir (Javanese version). In a literary work, a person who is lucky or always lucky becomes the object of learning about a person’s good fortune, that is, with little or no hard work, a person earns a sufficient or decent income, so that literary work is a parable.
- Literary works that contain stories about someone’s misfortune. Such literary works will create unfortunate or unlucky figures, such as Lebai Malang. In literary works like that, we can take the lesson, namely that someone is determined to make choices, is not greedy or greedy, and is willing to accept what is a part of him even if only a little.
- Literary works that contain a story about a cunning person, full of tricks. A literary work like that has a very smooth character like an eel, like the character Luncai or the Kabayan. Literary work can be used as a lesson for someone to use their mind or intelligence. However, in delivering literary works like that, moral considerations need to be considered so that readers do not get caught up in things that are cunning and trickery.
- Literary works that contain stories about someone who is smart, resourceful, and knows tactics. Such literary works will give rise to legendary figures from Arab-Persian, such as Abu Nawas, Ali Baba, or the Sinbad. In literary works like that, it should be realized that the ability to think, have tact, or have clever intellect requires sharp analysis, accuracy, and weakness of the interlocutor so that the interlocutor cannot argue.
In terms of form, literary works that provide entertainment can be distinguished as follows.
- Literature conveyed with words that have double meanings or is a word game or called by a play on words. In literature like that the content of the story is not important, but the plot must be sequential, and most importantly able to play with words so that the story creates a humor that entertains the reader.
- Literature is presented in a way full of surprises which reveals a number of problems that were not foreseen. In literature like that the writer is able to deceive the reader or listener so that the reader feels cheated or lied to. Thus, readers will be entertained.
- Literature that is conveyed by expressing taboo matters or using profanity. In order not to appear vulgar and considered pornographic, such literature is packaged with figures, symbols, or idioms that are easily recognized by readers.
- Literature that is conveyed in an unnatural, strange, or absurd manner makes the reader laugh too. Usually such stories are told in a way that is contrary to reality, absurd or illogical, so that the reader feels something strange amuses them.
- Literature is conveyed by presenting characters with human characters who are naughty, nosy, like to disturb others, or are full of pretense so that the reader feels disturbed, annoyed, and laughs. This type of literature shows the writer’s expertise in packaging the story so that it attracts the attention of the reader.