Did you get the chance to study Indonesian literature more deeply? What did you discover from your meetings with Indonesian authors?
Following my discussions with the authors, including Andrea Hirata, Iwan Bajang, Laksmi Pamuntjak and Saut Situmorang, I noticed that abroad, those getting noticed the most are the ones that try to conceptualize their writing and the essence of their texts onto a western perspective. Hirata received international attention, after an American agency discovered him, and after his novel appeared in an adjusted way. Laksmi Pamuntjak, who studied in the USA, set out to write her novel “Alle Farben Rot” in the English language. Whether this forms an advantage for these novel writers is subject to further discussion. Within the local Indonesian literature sphere it seems that there are ideological warfare trenches here – it’s similar to how it used to be in the DDR – which one can trace back through the political history, but which also have religious causes. An outsider would only be able to take part in discussions on these topics with great difficulty. Furthermore, there are also a number of younger authors, who are publishers as well, and who are trying to promote young writers within these warfare trenches, apart from the mainstream that is aimed at western-audiences, and religious conflicts. They will leave their mark on Indonesian literature.