Ananta Toer

My recent study of gamelan has rekindled my interest in Indonesia as a whole.  I’ve been rediscovering a number of my old texts.

Amongst the most interesting are the novels by Pramoedya Ananta Toer.  I’ve been re-reading the Buru Quartet, the novels composed during his imprisonment:

The old people teach us through their legends that there is a mighty god called Batara Kala.  They say it is he who makes all things move further and further from their starting point, inexorably, towards some unknown final destination.  A human blind to the future, I could do no more than hope to know.  We never even really understand what we have already lived through.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Child of all Nations

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His work synthesizes so many different types of traditions and histories.  Ananta Toer’s work is both indebted to Western literature and the Wayang Kulit of Indonesia.


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