“Sitti Nurbaja”: Some reconsiderations

All Things Books / Review

About Sitti Nurbaya: Kasih Tak Sampai,
Written by Harry Aveling, and was originally published in BRILL,
Jan 01, 1971

Marah Rusli's novel Sitti Nurbaja was published first by Balai Pustaka in. 1922. It was by far the most popular of Indonesian novels prior to the second world war and still retained a great deal of popularity after it. This is common knowledge. That it is also a novel which has, as yet, not had its fair critica! due, is rather less obvious. Most critics refer to it, after all, at one stage or another in their studies, even if, upon closer examination, rather briefly. (Drs H. B. Jassin refers to the novel nine times in his four volumes of Kruik dan Esei; none of the references are longer than one sentence.) Further, there seems to be a remarkably high degree of concensus as to the position, the themes, and the significance of the book within the structure of modern Indonesian literature.

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