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Of Self and Nation: Autobiography and the Representation of Modern Indonesia (review)

Of Self and Nation: Autobiography and the Representation of Modern Indonesia (review) 620 Biography 24.3 (Summer 2001) C. W. Watson. Of Self and Nation: Autobiography and the Representation of Modern Indonesia. Honolulu: U of Hawai‘i P, 2000. 257 pp. ISBN 0- 8248-2281-1, $24.95. This valuable set of eight essays on twentieth century Indonesian literature and social thought has a precise aim: to chart out the cultural space where the autobiographical self and the Indonesian nationalist imagination have intersected and mutually shaped each other, rhetorically and politically, over the period framed by the publication of Raden Ajeng Kartini’s colonial-era, Dutch language epistolary memoir From Darkness to Light (1912) and the Indonesian language, New Order-era collection Mencari Islam (Looking for Islam, 1990). This more recent volume was comprised of a series of person- al histories by young Muslim writers, born in the 1960s, who authored lives deeply shaped by the Soeharto regime’s heavy-handed religion and patriotic culture policies. Along the way, while covering this eighty-year span of time, anthropologist and student of literature C. W. Watson considers a mix of famous and lesser-known autobiographies, taking each as a text actively caught up in large social processes of Indonesian nationalism and narration. After his chapter on Kartini’s letters (written to a Dutch acquaintance, and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Of Self and Nation: Autobiography and the Representation of Modern Indonesia (review)

Biography , Volume 24 (3) – Jun 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

620 Biography 24.3 (Summer 2001) C. W. Watson. Of Self and Nation: Autobiography and the Representation of Modern Indonesia. Honolulu: U of Hawai‘i P, 2000. 257 pp. ISBN 0- 8248-2281-1, $24.95. This valuable set of eight essays on twentieth century Indonesian literature and social thought has a precise aim: to chart out the cultural space where the autobiographical self and the Indonesian nationalist imagination have intersected and mutually shaped each other, rhetorically and politically, over the period framed by the publication of Raden Ajeng Kartini’s colonial-era, Dutch language epistolary memoir From Darkness to Light (1912) and the Indonesian language, New Order-era collection Mencari Islam (Looking for Islam, 1990). This more recent volume was comprised of a series of person- al histories by young Muslim writers, born in the 1960s, who authored lives deeply shaped by the Soeharto regime’s heavy-handed religion and patriotic culture policies. Along the way, while covering this eighty-year span of time, anthropologist and student of literature C. W. Watson considers a mix of famous and lesser-known autobiographies, taking each as a text actively caught up in large social processes of Indonesian nationalism and narration. After his chapter on Kartini’s letters (written to a Dutch acquaintance, and

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 1, 2001

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