A. Teeuw

Writer / See Indonesianist


He was born in Gorinchem, Netherlands (Aug 12, 1921), and died in Leiden, Netherlands (May 18, 2012)



Andries Teeuw, better known as A. Teeuw in scholarly circles and Hans Teeuw to his friends, was a Dutch critic of Indonesian literature.

Teeuw conducted a field study of Indonesian literature in Yogyakarta between 1945 and 1947. While in Yogyakarta, he worked on translating the Bhomakhawya, described as one of the most difficult kakawins. Teeuw was unable to complete the translation, noting that some parts were guesswork and other cantos were indecipherable. In 1946 he graduated with a doctorate in literature from Utrecht University, using his translation as the basis for his dissertation. In 1950 he took a position as lecturer of Malay literature at the University of Indonesia, a position which he held until 1951. It is while at the University of Indonesia that he published his first book on Indonesian literature, entitled Voltooid Voorspel. The work was later expanded and translated to Indonesian, then published under the title Pokok dan Tokoh (Tenets and Figures) in 1952; it was expanded again for a revised edition in 1955. Four years later, he took a position as Lecturer on Indonesian and Malay Language and Literature at the Leiden University.

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