Pramoedya Ananta Toer Analysis

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Many of Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s novels dealt with Dutch colonialism, but he spent much of his life imprisoned by the government of an independent Indonesia. What historical connections might he have made between colonialism and the Indonesian government that followed colonialism?

Pramoedya’s first novel, his well-known quartet of novels, and the papers collected in The Mute’s Soliloquy were all written while imprisoned. How do you think imprisonment affected the writer’s style and his choice of subjects?

Does Pramoedya seem to be optimistic about the future of his own country and about the future of humanity, in spite of his sufferings? Why or why not?

How do characters such as Nyai Ontosoroh and the girl in The Girl from the Coast reject the traditional roles of women?

How does Pramoedya use fictional characters to bring Indonesian history alive?


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Ali, Nur’ainy. Pramoedya Ananta Toer: Selected Early Works, 1949-1952, an Interpretive Study. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1999.

Chudori, Leila S., and Dewi Rina Cahyani. “On Translating ’The Mute’s Soliloquy.’” World Press Review 46, no. 11 (November, 1999): 12.

Day, Tony. “Locating Indonesian Literature in the World.” Modern Language Quarterly 68, no. 2 (June, 2007): 173-193.

GoGwilt, Chris. “Pramoedya’s Fiction and History: An Interview with Pramoedya Ananta Toer.” Yale Journal of Criticism 9 (Spring, 1996): 147-164.

Tong, Sebastian. “Unexpected Convergences: Bakhtin’s Novelistic Discourse and Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s ’Epic’ Novels.” World Literature Today 73, no. 3 (Summer, 1999): 481-484.

Vickers, Adrian. “Reading Pramoedya Ananta Toer and Writing Indonesian History.” New Literatures Review 22 (Winter, 1991): 82-102.

Vltchek, Andre, and Rossie Indira. Exile: Conversations with Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2006.