Il romanzo popolare indonesiano d’anteguerra
Soenoto, Faizah/S. F. (1976) Il romanzo popolare indonesiano d’anteguerra. Annali : Rivista del Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici e del Dipartimento di Studi su Africa e Paesi Arabi, 36 (Supplemento n. 8 al Vol. 36 fasc. 3 (Annali)). Istituto Universitario Orientale, Napoli.
Although the problem of “periodization” of Indonesian Literature has not been settled, the past periods of Balai Pustaka, Pujangga Baru, Angkatan '45, are widely recognized as its building stones.
This field of study is not yet completely explored, because of either the lack of available materials, or too little interest has been directed towards it.
The problem mentioned above, was treated in A. Teeuw's Pokok dan Tokoh which was complemented by Roolvink's Roman Picisan Bahasa Indonesia. (Further, Nio Joe Lan's Sastra Indonesia Tionghoa, deserve mentioning here, as another phenomena living along side the Indonesian
The pennyworth novels treated in this study are those which were published within the period of a few years, just prior to the second world war. In genera! these novels were published as single-issued periodicals, either weekly, twice or three times a month. During that period, these activities were spread throughout the Indonesian archipelago; this can be seen from the following list of periodicals which the writer was able to recover. Roman Indonesia (Padang, 1939-1940), Lukisan Pudjangga (Medan, 1939-1942), Tjendrawasih (Medan, 1940-1941/42), Dunia Pengalaman
(Medan, 1938-1941), Roman Pergaulan (Bukittinggi, 1939-1941), Mizaan Dunia (Gorontalo, 1941), Dunia Pengalaman (Solo, 1938-1941), Mustika Alhambra (Medan, ?), Perdjuangan Hidup (Bukittinggi, 1940), Dunia Pergerakan (Solo, 1940), Dunia Pergerakan (Medan, 1940), Gubahan Maya (Medan, 1940).
Most of the authors are recognized as belonging to the period of Balai Pustaka, such as Hamka, A. Damhuri, Suman Hs. Some of them are also active in the post-war period.
Among the annual celebration articles praising the success achieved by these periodicals, there were also articles and comments by national political leader M. Jamin and news correspondentjeditor Adinegoro. Or. Mandank who is known as an author belonging to the period of Pudjangga Baru,
was also at the same time a contributor to the periodical Dunia Pengalaman, Medan.
Some of the pennyworth novels' authors are Joesoef Sou'yb, Merayu Sukma, A. Damhuri, Hamka, Moh. Kasim, Tamar Djaja, Matu Mona, M. Dimyati, Suman Hs, I Gusti Pandji Njoman Tisna. Elang Emas was the very popular Joesoef Sou'yb's series of detective novels.
A number of novels, which were first published as roman picisan (pennyworth novels), have been taken over by Balai Pustaka later; e.g. Hamka's Tuan Direktur and Angkatan Baru.
In this study, besides that the subject of the Indonesian pennyworth novels was defined and formalized, also their material sources and contents were discussed and described.
A straightforward categorization/grouping was applied to the available material, recoverable only from private collections. (They are not even available from the Library of Jakarta Museum).
As a conclusion, by this study the writer has attempted to uncover a small part of the “literary activity” which had witnessed and contributed to the history of the Indonesian reading matters.
There is a point which can't be refuted, that this “Literary activity” in Indonesia between the 1930's and 1940's was its social product.
Whenever the materials surveyed in this study could not be recognized as contributors to the history of Indonesian Literature, they certainly will better serve for the study in social sciences.
It is because of the fact that the novels reflected the life and ideals of a part of the society which lived in the period of Pujangga Baru.
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