A many-headed machine

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This article mentions Abidah El Khalieqy Afrizal Malna Ahmad Tohari Ajip Rosidi Andrea Hirata Ayu Utami Dee Lestari Eka Kurniawan Helvy Tiana Rosa Kuntowijoyo Mira W Mochtar Lubis Oka Rusmini Pramoedya Ananta Toer Putu Wijaya Remy Sylado Rendra, W. S. Seno Gumira Ajidarma Sitor Situmorang Taufiq Ismail Y. B. Mangunwijaya
Written by Hendrik Maier
Originally published in Inside Indonesia.
Jul 17, 2015

Once upon a time notions and appreciations of Indonesian literature were based on a simple idea: every literary form of writing newly published could be categorised as the work of Angkatan 45 (Generation of 45), a term that referred to the writers who were coming of age in the years of the revolution and were given the floor in cultural life over their Dutch-trained predecessors in their glorification of the newly created nation.

The term Angkatan 45 came in handy for political as well as for cultural reasons. The Republic of Indonesia had declared independence in 1945, followed by four years of struggles and violence and, as is the case in every other new nation, intellectuals and the political elite in the capital felt the need to have a literature that dealt with the formation of the nation.

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