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ON THE BEGINNING OF MODERN INDONESIAN LITERATURE

By Dipa Nugraha and Suyitno

Abstract

Purpose of the study: This study aims to bridge the gap in the dispute over the beginning of modern Indonesian literature and determine which literary work marked the beginning of modern Indonesian literature. Methodology: This uses close reading over selected texts on the usage of specific words in Malay used in anti-colonialism political movement and the existence of the words Indonesia, bangsa, negeri, tanah air, and tumpah darah as the central themes for the development of the analysis from the selected texts. The selected texts are four novels published in the Dutch East Indies in the early of twentieth century: Student Hidjo (1919), Hikajat Kadiroen (1920), Azab dan Sengsara (1920), and Sitti Nurbaja (1922). Main Finding: We find that Azab dan Sengsara and Sitti Nurbaja have the word Indonesia and help conceptualize the new idea of the homeland. Whilst Student Hidjo and Hikajat Kadiroen do not see beyond the land of Java and they only relate the Dutch East Indies to the land of Java. We argue that Sitti Nurbaja marked the beginning of modern Indonesian literature. Implications: The debate over the beginning of modern Indonesian literature should stop with the finding of this study that Azab dan Sengsara and Sitti Nurbaja mark the beginning of modern Indonesian literature. While Student Hidjo and Hikajat Kadiroen must be named as the modern pre-Indonesian literary works

Topics: Modern Indonesian literature, Student Hidjo, Hikajat Kadiroen, Azab dan Sengsara, Sitti Nurbaja, Indonesian Literary History
Publisher: 'GIAP Journals'
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.18510/hssr.2019.7691
OAI identifier: oai:ojs.pkp.sfu.ca:article/2177

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