Indonesian Writing in Translation

Book / Anthology


by Abdul Muis Achdiat K Mihardja Amir Hamzah Armijn Pane Chairil Anwar Hamka Idrus Mochtar Lubis Pramoedya Ananta Toer Sitor Situmorang Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana
Edited by John M. Echols

Format: Paperback, English
212 page(s)
ISBN/ISBN13: 6028397032/9786028397032
Published Apr 06, 2009 by Equinox Publishing

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This compilation of translations of modern Indonesian literature originated as a series of class exercises performed by some of my students at Cornell University as a part of the advanced Indonesian language class during the years 1952-1955. The selections have now been compiled primarily for use in a course on Southeast Asian Literature in Translation, in an attempt to overcome, to some extent, the lack of available material. These are presented herewith in the hope that they may also be of interest to others concerned with, or interested in, comparative or Far Eastern literature. In addition to the selections translated by these students, several poems which Messrs. Burton Raffel and Nurdin Salam kindly sent me from Makassar have been included together with two translations by Professor Harry J. Benda of the University of Rochester.

Indonesian literature since 1917 has indeed been a terra incognita for several reasons, two of the most obvious being the inaccessibility of the material and the language barrier. Both of these are very slowly but gradually being broken down, as a glance at James S. Holmes’ Angkatan Muda, A Checklist of Writings in Western Language Translations in Indonesie 5, pp. 462-72, will reveal. It is my hope that this anthology will assist in dispelling some of the ignorance which now inevitably prevails concerning modern Indonesian literature. With the appearance in June of the Atlantic supplement, Perspective of Indonesia further opportunity will be given Americans and others to become acquainted with a sample of the literature of this area. In preparing this anthology I have often been reminded of a story, probably apocryphal, related about Einstein who, shortly after his arrival in this country, was asked to say a few words and replied that he would try to speak in English but if by chance he should slip back into German, Dr. Lindemann would ‘traduce’ him. I sincerely hope that none of the writers represented in this compilation has been traduced.

I cannot conclude without acknowledging the assistance of Idrus Nazir Djajadiningrat and Hassan Shadily in carefully checking many of the translations and of Mrs. Tazu Warner, secretary in the Department of Far Eastern Studies at Cornell University, who performed an excellent job of typing the mats for reproduction and assisted in numerous other ways. Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to the Djakarta publishing houses, Balai Pustaka (Perpustakaan Perguruan Kementerian – P.P.&K.) and Pustaka Rakjat for granting permission to reproduce these translations of their publications.





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