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Armijn Pane


Armijn Pane was born in Moeara Sipongi, Tapanuli, Sumatra, the third of eight children. He attended school at the H.I.S, Padang Sidempuan, and Tanjung Balai and later joined the Europeesche Lagere School (ELS) in Sibolga and Bukit Tinggi. After graduating from ELS, he moved to Java where he began, but didn’t finish, medical training at the School tot voor Indische Opleiding Artsen (STOVIA) in Jakarta and at the Nederlandsch Indische Artsen School (NIAS) in Surabaya. He then transferred his efforts to writing and literature at the Algemeene Middelbare School (AMS) in Surakarta, before graduating in 1931 with a degree in Western Classical Literature.

While still a student in Solo he was active for a short time in the nationalist youth organisation, Indonesia Muda, but soon left this in favour of writing. Armijn Pane began his working life as a journalist in Jakarta and Surabaya, and also taught language and history at the national school in Kediri and Jakarta. From 1933–1938, he was the secretary and editor of the magazine New Poet, and in 1936 he joined Balai Pustaka. In 1933 he and Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana started the Poedjangga Baroe magazine. Following Indonesia’s independence he became editor of Spectrum, and a few years later, the editor of the Indonesian Cultural Magazine. He was also the editor of the magazine Indonesia from 1948–1955. It was also during this period that he wrote his first works, among them the play Lenggang Kencana (1937); a collection of poems entitled Jiwa Berjiwa (1941); the play Jinak-jinak Merpati (1953); and the collection of short stories Kisah antara Manusia (1953). Other well-known works by Armijn Pane include: Iwa-inclined (1939), a collection of short stories; the novel Belenggu (Shackles) (1940) and Domestic Pigeons (1953).

Pane’s novel Belenggu has been called his most important contribution to Indonesian literature. The novel met with mixed reviews after its publication in Pudjangga Baru, and was widely criticised on two grounds: that the storyline was highly improbable since the characters acted differently from normal people; and that the story was immoral. The plot, a love triangle between a doctor, his wife and his mistress, was considered new and very shocking to many Indonesians, particularly so since the novel stops short of assigning blame. But the novel was also considered revolutionary in the way that Pane explored the feelings of his characters. Pane applied the technique of interior monologue and used elliptical dots and dashes following incomplete sentences to indicate the doubts and uncertainties assailing a modern educated Indonesian man. Due to both the style and content the novel is regarded as a milestone in Indonesian literature.1

  1. Wikipedia 


168 page(s), Lontar Foundation
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