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    Rendra

ISBN: 978-602-9144-39-0

Testimony

by: Rendra

Testimony Rendra (1935-2009) is one of Indonesia’s most important poets and dramatists. During his lifetime he embodied the Indonesian sense of what a true artist should be. He was a flamboyant personality, often dubbed “the peacock”. His dedication to his art was absolute, and he gave honest and creative expression to his emotions and thoughts.

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Testimony

Rendra (1935-2009) is one of Indonesia’s most important poets and dramatists. During his lifetime he embodied the Indonesian sense of what a true artist should be. He was a flamboyant personality, often dubbed “the peacock”. His dedication to his art was absolute, and he gave honest and creative expression to his emotions and thoughts. His writing used a simple, flexible long-limbed free verse that is attractive and immediately accessible.

Raised within a mystical Javanese milieu, Rendra saw nature, the individual and society as potentially forming one harmonious whole. In his poetry and his plays this commitment to personal authenticity and social justice was expressed through stories. He wrote about all sorts of people: himself, his family children and grandchildren, those he met in daily life, the poor, the marginalized, victims of social injustice, women and children forced to live without love. Rendra’s criticism of New Order government development policies led to his detention and the banning of his public reading and performance of his works for almost a decade. His message to those who held power but lacked compassion was simple: “we say NO! and NO! to you”. To life itself, he said: “be and continue to grow” – be present, be centered, and at the same time be constantly in motion, constantly flowing. This book is his testimony to the sacredness of life in all its beauty. Available in e-book
ISBN: 978-602-9144-39-0
EditorEditor : test
PhotographerPhotographer : test
SizeSize : 15 X 24 cm
Publish Date: 2015
Page Count: 210 pages
People still call him “Willy” although his name changed to Wahyu Sulaiman Rendra when he converted to Islam in 1970. From birth until the age of 35, he was known as Willibrordus Surendra Broto, or W.S. Rendra. Rendra is known not only as a poet, but also as a dramatist. Born in Solo, Central Java, on Thursday, November 7, 1935, from a Javanese Catholic family. He was educated from kindergarten through high school in the city of his birth. He continued his studies at the Literature Department at Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta. His enjoyment of dramatic performance began when he was in high school. In 1957, Rendra won the literary award from the Consultative Body for National Cultural (Badan Musawarat Kebudayaan Nasional) for his poetry compilation Balada Orang-orang Tercinta. His name was immediately championed as the master ballad verse, and subsequently many young Indonesian poets imitated his style. He received numerous awards, among them the Wertheim Encourage Award 1991, and the SEA-Write Award 1996. In the 1980’s, he became known as “a leaflet poet” as he wrote socially conscious poetry.  He is respected by the public at large for his courage and skill at articulating the aspirations of society. His poems have been translated to many languages, including English, Dutch, German, Japanese, Russian and Hindi. In1957, he had the opportunity to visit the Soviet Union; he also lived in the United States for three years (1964 – 1967) while studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Art, New York. After returning from New York, Rendra founded the Bengkel Theater. With his apprentices at Bengkel, he caused a great public stir with their “Kaum Urakan” encampment at Parangtritis beach in 1972. Sunarti Suwandi (Almarhum) is his first wife. She was the woman who inspired much of Rendra’s early poetry. In 1970, Rendra converted to Islam and married Sitoresmi Prabuningrat, one of his colleagues from Bengkel Theater.  Currently, Rendra lives with his third wife, Ken Zuraida, and his Bengkel Theater protégés in the village of Cipayung on 2.5 hectares of farmland and livestock to provide for their daily needs
Translator :Harry Aveling
Harry Aveling has translated extensively from Indonesian and Malay literature. His recent works include Morphology of Desire and Saint Rosa (winner of the Katulistiwa Literary Award for Poetry 2005-6) by Dorothea Rosa Herliany; A History of Classical Malay Literature by Liaw Yock Fang (translated with Razif Bahari); and 100 Selected Poems by Cecep Syamsul Hari (with Dewi Candraningrum). In 2002, Linda Owens and Harry Aveling translated Joko Pinurbo’s Trouser Doll, Selected Poems 1989-1998, winner of the 2001 Lontar Literary Award for Poetry. He was Visiting Professor of English in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland during the Fall Semester 2014.

“Testimony”

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