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[Let them eat] Cake

Ray, always hot tempered, tapped his fingers every three seconds on the table. He hated waiting. Lola, as usual, hadn’t arrived just yet; Ray looked at his watch. They’ve been coming here for the past twenty years, nobody bothered to do any renovation. Even the kitchen was filthy. The place was … [Read more...]

A Bloody Past: On Censorship in Indonesia

On October 23, I received news from the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival: due to warnings from local police, the festival had to cancel sessions related to 1965 anti-communist massacres and their aftermath. I was shocked and outraged, especially after attending successful discussions and book … [Read more...]

A Brief Introduction to Indonesian Poetry

For better or worse, there is only modern Indonesian poetry – and what comes after. There is no such thing as medieval Indonesian poetry, for instance. For, even in the 19th century, let alone in medieval times, there was not yet a country called Indonesia. A relatively young tradition, … [Read more...]

A Dog-headed Man

The dog was just an ordinary pet, belonging to a man who was studying witchcraft. The pinnacle of the attainment of witchcraft is immortality. However, every study complement always requires an examination, so that his achievements are recognized. So, one sacred night, he slit his pet dog’s throat. … [Read more...]

A Poem in Its Becoming…

GOENAWAN MOHAMAD’S OPENING SPEECH AT THE WORLD POETRY FESTIVAL – KUALA LUMPUR, 17 AUGUST 2004 I would like to thank you for having me here, in this extraordinary gathering of poets, and for giving me the honour to begin our conversation. However, I must confess my nervousness; I know that each … [Read more...]