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In Search of Marble MonumentsThe Wandering Poems of Chairil Anwar

In Search of Marble MonumentsThe Wandering Poems of Chairil Anwar The Indonesian poet Chairil Anwar (1922–49) appears to have known it all along: his poems, evoking loneliness and failed communication, written in a self-proclaimed new language, were to remain incomplete and unfinished. Incomplete because they were to be read again and again long after the Indonesian National Revolution had achieved its primary aim, political independence of the Republic of Indonesia, heir of the Dutch Empire; unfinished because they were to be published again and again, every printing and every reading creating other poems. The marble monuments of Indonesian culture of which Chairil was dreaming—polished and stable—never materialized. Perhaps only his last poem, in which a formally balanced description of the sociocultural life of the novel Republic was substituted for the evocations of loneliness and failure, seems to confirm his dream: it has rarely been published and became only a reluctant topic of Indonesian conversations in the new century, while the shadows of the Dutch empire and the revolution are fading, and the search for monuments remains incomplete. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions Duke University Press

In Search of Marble MonumentsThe Wandering Poems of Chairil Anwar

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Copyright
Copyright 2021 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-8722823
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Indonesian poet Chairil Anwar (1922–49) appears to have known it all along: his poems, evoking loneliness and failed communication, written in a self-proclaimed new language, were to remain incomplete and unfinished. Incomplete because they were to be read again and again long after the Indonesian National Revolution had achieved its primary aim, political independence of the Republic of Indonesia, heir of the Dutch Empire; unfinished because they were to be published again and again, every printing and every reading creating other poems. The marble monuments of Indonesian culture of which Chairil was dreaming—polished and stable—never materialized. Perhaps only his last poem, in which a formally balanced description of the sociocultural life of the novel Republic was substituted for the evocations of loneliness and failure, seems to confirm his dream: it has rarely been published and became only a reluctant topic of Indonesian conversations in the new century, while the shadows of the Dutch empire and the revolution are fading, and the search for monuments remains incomplete.

Journal

positionsDuke University Press

Published: Feb 1, 2021

References