Indonesia’s greatest novelist and revolutionary intellectual died in Jakarta on April 30, 2006. Below are three articles by Max Lane, published in the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD< GREEN LEFT WEEKLY and JAKARTA POST respectively.
Sydney Morning Herald, May 16, 2006
Man of letters and revolution
Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Novelist, 1925-2006
IN THE days before Indonesia’s greatest novelist, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, died, text messages and emails had warned that he was seriously ill. Many readers gathered at his hospital bed and later his home where they sang songs of struggle or prayed.
I met Pramoedya in 1980 after reading his wonderful novel, This Earth of Mankind, which I was to later translate. It was the first of many meetings with an earthy, stubborn man who deeply loved Indonesia and the revolution that created it, its history, and its people.
He wrote more than 40 works, including novels, short stories, plays, history, literary criticism and more than 400 newspaper essays. He translated Gorky, Tolstoy and Steinbeck, among others. All this work was motivated by a love for humanity. He never tired of quoting from the great Dutch novelist, Multatuli: “It is the duty of human beings to become human.” Continue reading “Death of Pramoedya Ananta Toer”