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City of Heidelberg / Press Release
Apr 08, 2024

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Apr 05, 2024

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Apr 04, 2024

Claire Albrecht Reviews Jennifer Mackenzie’s Navigable Ink

Media Clippings




In this article: Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Written by Claire Albrecht
Originally published in Cordite Poetry Review.

Mar 25, 2021
It is difficult to completely reconcile with a book that, while centralising Indonesian culture and history, is written by a white outsider. Jennifer Mackenzie is certainly a well-informed, respectful and respected outsider, but an outsider nonetheless. The book reads as a response, or creative criticism, or homage to Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s work and life. Taken as such, Mackenzie can be forgiven for some of the insertion into a narrative that is not her own. She is a wrangling with an enormous literary, political and cultural history that is still alive and volatile, despite her focus on Indonesian history up to the end of the twentieth century. Mackenzie’s choice to approach this through the medium of poetry is unproblematic on its own, but where the poems verge into the lyric and take the narratorial I, they begin to claim Toer’s (and Indonesia’s) history as their own, and the waters muddy.

Read the full article here.



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