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    Agam Wispi, Armijn Pane, Iwan Simatupang, Misbach Yusa Biran, Motinggo Boesje, Roestam Effendi, Saadah Alim, Sanusi Pane, Utuy Tatang Sontani,

ISBN: 9789798083716

The Lontar Anthology of Indonesian Drama Volume 2: Building A National Theater (1926-1965)

by: Agam Wispi, Armijn Pane, Iwan Simatupang, Misbach Yusa Biran, Motinggo Boesje, Roestam Effendi, Saadah Alim, Sanusi Pane, Utuy Tatang Sontani,

The first four decades of the national art theater in Indonesia (1926-1965) were a period of fascinating experimentation undertaken by elite intellectuals heavily influenced by, and attempting to come to terms with, the forms and styles of Western theater. Volume 2 of The Lontar Anthology of Indonesian Drama contains a selection of dramas representative of

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The first four decades of the national art theater in Indonesia (1926-1965) were a period of fascinating experimentation undertaken by elite intellectuals heavily influenced by, and attempting to come to terms with, the forms and styles of Western theater. Volume 2 of The Lontar Anthology of Indonesian Drama contains a selection of dramas representative of this exciting and pivotal era in the construction of Indonesia’s modern national art theater. ISBN: 9789798083716
EditorEditor : Michael Bodden, John McGlynn
Publish Date: 2010
Page Count: 432 pages

The poet Agam Wispi was born in Pangkalan Susu, North Sumatera in 1930. His father led Gezaksa, one of the most well-known theater troupes in Medan prior to World War II. Wispi grew up in this environment and from his youth had a close relationship with the arts. His first poem, Stained Freedom (which unfortunately can no longer be traced) was published in the newspaper Kerakyatan, a Medan daily led by Banda Matin.  Agam later went on to work as a journalist and cultural editor at Kerakyatan.

While still working as a journalist in Medan, Bakrie Siregar introduced Agam to the progressive ideas of the People’s Cultural Organization, the Lembaga Kebudayaan Rakyat or LEKRA. From that time on, Agam’s writing was based upon those ideas. Later, in 1959, he became a formal member and manager at LEKRA.

Agam Wispi believes that his fate has been shaped by poetry. The publication of his first poem in Kerakyatan led to his position as the cultural editor of that newspaper. One of his subsequent poems, a poem about Bakbo Bay, Vietnam, further determined his fate. The poem was translated and published in a Vietnamese literary magazine, which consequently invited him to visit the country.

Over several months, Agam traveled throughout the countryside and had the opportunity to meet Ho Chi Min. It was this trip that finally delivered him to his fate as a political refugee when Indonesia’s political landscape experienced a sudden reversal.   

When the September 30 movement (G30S) splintered, Agam Wispi was in Beijing attending celebrations of the Proclamation of the People’s Republic October 1, 1965. On that day, Agam heard of the bloody incident that had occurred in Jakarta the previous night. As a LEKRA member, Agam had no choice but to remain in Vietnam. Along with other LEKRA members who were attending Asia Africa Writer’s Conference, Agam Wispi was interned for five years in Nanking. His works from this period were compiled as Catatan Nanking.

Agam Wispi works include, among others  “Repolusi”, “Dera dan Deru” (1957), “Demokrasi”,  the poetry compilation Sahabat  (1959), and a one-act drama, “Gerbong”  (1958).  Several of Agam’s poems were collected in the LEKRA works Dinasti 650 Juta  (1961)  and Yang Tak Terbungkamkan  (1961).  Since his exile in 1965, Agam Wispi has published several volumes of poetry, including Exile, Orang-orang yang Dilupakan and Kronologi in Memoriam. The collection Pulang was written when he was allowed to return to Indonesia in 1996.

The tragedy of 1965 separated Agam from his wife and five children, who have continued to live in Jakarta during his exile. Now at over seventy years of age, Agam lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, having become a Dutch citizen. Despite carrying a Dutch passport, Agam Wispi confesses that he is still an Indonesian.

Armijn Pane (18 August 1908 – 16 February 1970), also known as Adinata, A. Soul, Empe, A. Mada, A. Banner, and Kartono, was an Indonesian author. Armijn Pane was born in Muara Sipongi, Tapanui, 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

January 1928
Iwan Martua Dongan Simatupang was born in January of 1928 in Sibolga, North Sumatra. He took part in the 1945 to 1949 Indonesian Revolution against the Dutch, and was captured in March 1949. After the Revolution, he first studied medicine in Surabaya. Then he studied anthropology and drama at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Finally he studied philosophy at the Sorbornne in Paris. He returned to Indonesia in 1961, married to a Dutch pianist. Shortly after his return, he completed work on The Pilgrim (Ziarah), which was not published until 1969, and two other novels as well: Merahnya Merah (The Redness of Red), published earlier, in 1968; and Kering (Drought), published in 1972. Redness of Redwon a national literary prize in 1970 and The Pilgrim won an award for the best novel of ASEAN in 1977. In addition to prose, Simatupang wrote poetry, short stories, and plays—all known for their avant garde form. He also worked as a journalist and his columns were known for their frequent focus on Indonesia’s marginalized citizens. He died on August 4, 1970
Utuy Tatang Sontani was born in 1920 in the town of Cianjur, West Java. He moved to the city of Bandung at 16, where he made his own way in the world, through the upheavals of occupation, then war and revolution, followed by the tumultuous Sukarno years. By his early 30s, he had won acclaim as a national playwright, but his life continued to be—as for many others—a struggle against extreme rigors, material and moral. Utuy was unusual among his middle-class peers in having been educated in the indigenous Taman Siswa rather than Dutch system. As a fervent nationalist, he remained faithful to his Sundanese roots.  He first achieved recognition with the novel, Tambera (1949), but he is known principally for the many plays and short stories he wrote between 1948 and 1963. Increasingly concerned with the plight of the downtrodden and unfortunate, his work became darker over time. His writing is notable in its sympathy for even his most abject female characters.

Additional information

Weight 6 kg
Dimensions 15 x 23 cm

“The Lontar Anthology of Indonesian Drama Volume 2: Building A National Theater (1926-1965)”

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