• Sir Joon

    Sir Joon

    The ‘Malay world’ in this novel is not a closed, impenetrable world. In this novel at least, that kind of world does not become ‘local color’. Usually in literary criticism, what is called ‘local color’ is something identifiable—because it is whole, homogenous and distinctive: descriptions of landscape, customs and local dialects used in the story.

  • “Call Me…”

    “Call Me…”

    Kartini’s language, the language of a 20-year-old, is like a storm, although not immediately evident. It is not linear, or flat. Hyperbole arises in many sections, particularly when she mentions something (or someone) that she likes. Exclamation marks abound.

  • The Sea

    The Sea

    The coast is the world to be viewed, with curiosity and wonder, from a distance—from the outside.

  • Taman Mini

    Taman Mini

    Taman Mini reflects the view that life is only the status quo—as though in every phenomena, every difference, there is only the everlasting.

  • Images


    Flesh, eyes, skin—the physical and the psychic—have shaped the language of racist violence. In Indonesia, too.

  • The Flesh

    The Flesh

    Now Covid-19 can remind us that intimacy with the flesh is the same as simple gratitude when one is healthy, and taking an easy attitude towards pain and death.

  • Algiers


    The past does not stop. Over and again, we fail to recapture it in memory. Of course, we have history books and think that this is where the past is recorded as memory. But memory is the product of the present, and the present is not a station where memories pause, unchanging. This is why we often try to recall the past in other ways.

  • Itihasa


    Revenge, retaliation, and dark characters make us feel something more than just addiction to stories of violence; we feel that we are discovering stories about ‘justice’, and turn them into moral discourse.

  • News, Stories, News

    News, Stories, News

    Tempo was born and changed the magazine scene. Previously, weeklies were like convenience stores.

  • Tedjabayu


    His diary is not a monologue, and not a soliloquy: even in the narrowest of cells and in the most cruel oppression—particularly in Nusabambangan, the camp that was actually even worse than Buru—his voice was one of many. 

  •  Window Shopping

    Window Shopping

    The phrase "the desert of the real" conveys that ‘the real’ is the destroyed world, gloomy, fantastical, inexplicable through language, especially when viewed from the ordered world. In Indonesia, we are actually in that ‘desert’: with incessant floods, landslides and earthquakes.

  • Mortality


    Death is always with us in the same carriage. Death does not cut the journey. Death is part of the journey.

  • Data


    With the technology of the Hubble telescope, we see that we inhabit merely one tiny planet in a galaxy, while there are two trillion galaxies sprinkled in space. Humans are not the center.

  • Ondel-ondel


    The ondel-ondel, which people say used to be part of high-class ceremony in old Jayakarta, is nowadays part of the life of the impoverished, who know they are not in the limelight.

  • The Crown

    The Crown

    Power succeeds not through oppression with guns and bribery with money, but because it is effective in performing illusion.

  • Fragile


    Viruses are wars without borders. There is no space or time that can be completely ordered and stabilized in indices and maps. Contagion and healing go on within traces of differing attitudes towards life, sickness, and death.

  • Vision


    The eye – unlike the ear – does indeed absorb things field by field, not all at once. Sight becomes king. Humans no longer know objects by hearing, tasting and feeling them.

  • Nazareno


    The Bible prohibits the faithful from making pictures of humans and from worshipping idols, as do the other two Abrahamic religions. The history of the Christian world has witnessed a few episodes of ‘iconoclasm’, movements to destroy statues: in the 8th and 9th centuries in Byzantium, and at the beginning of the 16th century in Europe, when the Protestants burnt statues and paintings in churches.

  • Astonishing


    Maybe Marion does not view his relationship with the divine as a matter of belief in God. That relationship is more an acknowledgment of love–and love, even ‘love in a simple way’, is more astonishing than faith.

  • A Story

    A Story

    Goenawan Mohamad

  • You have 1 free article for this week. Get

    4 free articles after Register.