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Literature or Revolution: Writing Robust in a Postcolonial Metropolis

Literature or Revolution: Writing Robust in a Postcolonial Metropolis Rudolf Mrázek Between 1992 and 2000, on every university summer vacation, and once in 1995 on a six-month stay, I interviewed old people of Indonesia, mainly in Jakarta, the Indonesian metropolis, about their youths and childhoods.1 These old people lived through the colonial period, the Japanese occupation during World War II, and the years of the independent Indonesia after 1949. I had expected that I would be told about the transition from colonialism to postcolonialism and about the Indonesian failed (or unfinished) revolution. I had also hoped to learn more about the relation between written and oral documents and, namely, how the tone and accent of both an interviewer and the interviewees may cast the research and its conclusions. Indeed, it turned out that the most rewarding part was how the talking went. How we moved and stumbled through a particular landscape that was theirs and, in a revealingly different way, mine. As I listen to the tapes (to use Le Corbusier again), “The coordinated physiological sensations in terms of volume, surface, contour and color,” now as then, “afford an intense lyricism.” 2 Book in a House When I think of the insides of the homes in Jakarta, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Text Duke University Press

Literature or Revolution: Writing Robust in a Postcolonial Metropolis

Social Text , Volume 24 (1 86) – Mar 1, 2006

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2006 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0164-2472
eISSN
1527-1951
DOI
10.1215/01642472-24-1_86-103
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Rudolf Mrázek Between 1992 and 2000, on every university summer vacation, and once in 1995 on a six-month stay, I interviewed old people of Indonesia, mainly in Jakarta, the Indonesian metropolis, about their youths and childhoods.1 These old people lived through the colonial period, the Japanese occupation during World War II, and the years of the independent Indonesia after 1949. I had expected that I would be told about the transition from colonialism to postcolonialism and about the Indonesian failed (or unfinished) revolution. I had also hoped to learn more about the relation between written and oral documents and, namely, how the tone and accent of both an interviewer and the interviewees may cast the research and its conclusions. Indeed, it turned out that the most rewarding part was how the talking went. How we moved and stumbled through a particular landscape that was theirs and, in a revealingly different way, mine. As I listen to the tapes (to use Le Corbusier again), “The coordinated physiological sensations in terms of volume, surface, contour and color,” now as then, “afford an intense lyricism.” 2 Book in a House When I think of the insides of the homes in Jakarta,

Journal

Social TextDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2006

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