By | Agustus 26, 2016
yoesoefishak_mambubdjunaedi_pram

From left to right: Yoesoef Isak, Mahbub Djunaedi, Pram, and unknown. Photo credit: IISG

It was a long time ago when I first read Pram’s book, Bumi Manusia. I was a student of high school in Sumenep, East Madura.

A friend of mine who was a university student had a complete collection of Pulau Buru Tetralogy. He suggested me to read it because, as he said passionately that time, those books are important ones. They would be useful when I was going to study in university, he said.

So I read them without any idea how those books could be useful for me in the future. I thought that, after I had finished reading them, those books had no difference to other novels I had read, such as Di Bawah Lindungan Ka’bah by Hamka.

But they seemed special for me when I was studying in Nasional Islamic University of Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta. I had an impression that Pram presented history in a different way from the way schools presented it. History in Pram’s novels is not just history, it is an alternative history; a history that doesn’t officially released by the state.

Moreover, as I told in other place of my blog, Pram tried to make his readers conscious about their country. You will know Indonesia better after you read Pram’s novels, not only because they contain historical settings about Indonesia, but they also give a critical point of view to the readers

Another thing that made those novels looked special for me is the fact that they were written when Pram exiled in Buru Island. As you know, Buru Island was the place for political prisoners in early Soeharo presidential era. Thousands of people was exiled there without any trial just because they became PKI’s activists or have any connection with it. In Buru Island, they were looked out, forced to work, and even tortured by military officials who were assigned there. Many prisoners were dead. But Pram and his friends tried to survive with whatever way they could do, including performing their skills to entertain their horrific lives. Pram, who was a good writer, wrote a story to tell for his fellow prisoners. That story is now we know as Pulau Buru Tetralogy.

So that’s why reading Pram’s novels gives me some kind of pleasure; a pleasure you feel when you find something new out of your mind. Reading them, I have a feeling like revealing something is hidden by those old people from the youths. As a matter of fact, some of Pram’s writings were forbidden by government and some were burned that no one can read them anymore.

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pramoedya_ananta_toer

Pram. Photo credit: Revitriyoso Husodo

Now I understand why my friend suggested me to read Pram’s Pulau Buru tetralogy a long ago. Those books have awakened a kind of consciousness inside myself as an Indonesian people, i.e. a consciousness that I actually am a human being who is equally the same in dignity as those people of European countries. Such a consciousness was a rare idea in our colonial era. It even had to be struggled, because in colonial era Indonesian people were treated unjustly as unhuman. Pram tells those injustice stories in a very good style in his novels.

The benefits of reading Pram’s novels work to me. So, I think, it should work to other people too. That thought drives me to suggest my younger friends to read Prams novels, just like my old friend suggested me a long ago. I also try to discuss with them about history and other stuffs related to Pram’s novels. And the result is surprisingly good for them. Those friends who have finished reading Pram’s novels show an increasing interest to read books. In other words, their literacy is increasing.

Another effect I see after they read Pram’s novels is an increasing interest to do writing. I mean, they not only do trifling and casual writings like we often see most teens do on Facebook or Twitter, but also a serious and creative ones with a certain purpose. When they say about writing to me, I soon suggest them to write in blog and to try to train their discipline in doing it.

Those facts make Pramoedya Ananta Toer as a favorite writer, beside other great Indonesian writers, for me. So far, not all Pram’s books I have read yet. Pulau Buru tetralogy, Arok Dedes, Arus Balik, Gadis Pantai, Panggil Aku Kartini Saja, and Jalan Deandels are the ones I have read. Nyanyi Sunyi Seorang Bisu is one which nowadays I want to read the most.[]


Tulisan ini adalah ajang seru-seruan bareng Mas Febriyan
di EF.16.13 Challenge: Indonesian Writer

35 Replies to “Pramoedya Ananta Toer”

  1. Aireni Biroe

    Karya Pram hanya sempat baca sebagian di Menggelinding 1, tapi belum sampai tamat. Karya beliau sepertinya cukup berat dibaca untuk saya, jadi saya putuskan untuk melanjutkan baca Menggelinding 1 kalau lagi gak penat pikiran. LoL.

    Btw, saya juga dari Madura, tepatnya Pamekasan. 🙂

    Reply
    1. mhilal Post author

      Menurut saya, mereka yg sudah baca buku pram adalah orang-orang keren :p

      Hei, teman dari madura rupanya. salam kenal 🙂

      Reply
  2. shiq4

    Saya sering denger namanya pram disebut2. Tapi belum tertarik membaca bukunya. Soalnya masih buanyak buku yang belum kebaca di rumah ha ha ha……

    Reply
  3. riskiantropus

    Saya suka sama pemikiran pram meski hanya tau dari striming yutub sama baca quotes2.nya. Kalo baca bukunya masih belum pernah. Punya versi e-book.nya aja, jadi males. Hehe

    Reply
  4. nyoemhokgie

    Kalau tidak salah di youtube berjudul “jalan raya pos” ada pernyataan Pram alasan mengapa dia menolak permohonan maaf dari Gus Dur. 🙂

    Reply
    1. mhilal Post author

      Betulkan, mas nyoemhokgie? Sepertinya saya sudah menonton film itu di youtube, tapi sudah lupa detailnya…

      Reply
        1. mhilal Post author

          Haaa… menarik polemik Pram-GM itu. Trims sudah mau berbagi, mas nyoemhokgie.

          Perdebatan Lekra-Manikebu itu bisa diambil banyak pelajaran. Masih banyak sekali pertanyaan yg belum terjawab di batok kepala saya…

          Reply
      1. bicara

        when gus dur was a president, he offer him an apology from the government (a.k.a people), but he refuse it

        Reply
        1. mhilal Post author

          Yes, but Pram answered that just an apology from gus dur would not give back his rights robbed by the military and the New Order government. All Pram wanted is justice, a just trial. He said, that he would not give forgiveness to those who robbed his rights. “I’m not Nelson Mandela,” he said.

          Reply
    1. mhilal Post author

      Kalau pengalaman saya, saya menikmati novel Pram melalui Tetralogi Pulau Buru, baru kemudian membaca kumpulan wawancaranya. Mungkin itu bisa membantu memahami alam pikiran Pram.
      Itu pengalaman saya sih, mas mfadel. Tentunya ada banyak cara sebetulnya, silakan mencobanya 🙂

      Reply
  5. Bang Ical

    Saya mulai baca Pram sejak kuliah, dimulai dari Tetralogi Pulau Buru. Saya mengagumi pemikiran-pemikirannya yang memihak kemanusiaan, tapi saya juga menyayangkan sikap dia menggunakan media massa saat masih di LEKRA, untuk menekan sastrawan dan jurnalis non-revolusioner waktu itu (sebelum 65).

    Alangkah wajar bila seseorang merintih ketika ditindas tapi menindas ketika berkuasa, tapi tidak bila sedang berkuasa ia menindas dan giliran ia ditindas ia merintih atas nama kemanusiaan.

    Reply
    1. mhilal Post author

      Saya juga menyayangkan adanya polemik keras antara Lekra dan Manikebu di masa silam. Kedua kubu tidak bisa dibilang bersih dari tindakan tekan-menekan seperti itu.

      Saya, yang lahir di generasi sesudahnya, sudah bisa membaca kubu mana yang menang dan menentukan menentukan arah kebudayaan kita, sehingga kita menjadi seperti sekarang ini secara kebudayaan. Mengamati arah perkebangan kebudayaan dari sudut pandang Lekra saya rasa ada pentingnya juga, Bang Ical 🙂

      Reply
      1. Bang Ical

        Benar, Bang Hilal 🙂 Secara pribadi saya banyak sepakat konsep Lekra, dan sebenarnya jadi refrensi saya dalam mengembangkan komunitas literasi saya di Lombok. “Literasi yang berpihak” yang kami usung, diterapkan persis seperti Turba-nya Lekra 🙂

        Reply
        1. mhilal Post author

          Komunitas Literasi Bang Ical saya ikuti dari jauh, melalui tulisan-tulisan di blog Bang Ical. Itu adalah semacam inspirasi. Dari kejauhan, saya mendukungnya hehe

          Reply

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