This compilation of translations of modern Indonesian literature originated as a series of class exercises performed by some of my students at Cornell University as a part of the advanced Indonesian language class during the years 1952-1955. The selections have now been compiled primarily for use in a course on Southeast Asian Literature in Translation, in an attempt to overcome, to some extent, the lack of available material. These are presented herewith in the hope that they may also be of interest to others concerned with, or interested in, comparative or Far Eastern literature. In addition to the selections translated by these students, several poems which Messrs. Burton Raffel and Nurdin Salam kindly sent me from Makassar have been included together with two translations by Professor Harry J. Benda of the University of Rochester.
In preparing this anthology I have often been reminded of a story, probably apocryphal, related about Einstein who, shortly after his arrival in this country, was asked to say a few words and replied that he would try to speak in English but if by chance he should slip back into German, Dr. Lindemann would ‘traduce’ him. I sincerely hope that none of the writers represented in this compilation has been traduced.
I cannot conclude without acknowledging the assistance of Idrus Nazir Djajadiningrat and Hassan Shadily in carefully checking many of the translations and of Mrs. Tazu Warner, secretary in the Department of Far Eastern Studies at Cornell University, who performed an excellent job of typing the mats for reproduction and assisted in numerous other ways. Finally I wish to express my appreciation to the Djakarta publishing houses, Balai Pustaka (Perpustakaan Perguruan Kementerian – P.P.&K.) and Pustaka Rakjat for granting permission to reproduce these translations of their publications. - John M. Echols