His works span the colonial period under Dutch rule, Indonesia's struggle for independence, its occupation by Japan during the Second World War , as well as the post-colonial authoritarian regimes of Sukarno and Suharto , and are infused with personal and national history. He was imprisoned under the Dutch government from to , and again under the Suharto regime from to Pramoedya's writings sometimes fell out of favour with the colonial and later the authoritarian native governments in power. He faced censorship in Indonesia during the pre- Refomasi era even though he was well-known outside Indonesia. The Dutch imprisoned him from to during the War of Independence During the transition to the Suharto regime , he was caught up in the shifting tides of political change and power struggles.
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The story is set at the end of the Dutch colonial rule and was written while Pramoedya was imprisoned on the political island prison of Buru in eastern Indonesia. The story was first narrated verbally to Pramoedya's fellow prisoners in because he did not get permission to write. The central character and the narrator of This Earth of Mankind is a Javanese boy, Minke, who is fortunate to attend an elite Dutch school because he is a descendant of Javanese royalty the character is based on Tirto Adhi Soerjo.
Minke faces a complex and dangerous world when he meets Nyai Ontosoroh, a njai or concubine of a Dutch man. Minke's life becomes more dangerous when he falls in love with Annelies, the beautiful Indo daughter of Nyai Ontosoroh.
In This Earth of Mankind , Pramoedya portrayed the unjust life of the Indonesian people during the Dutch colonization period when social status was governed by the amount of European blood running through their veins.
Pramoedya characterized Minke as an outspoken person, who refuses this hierarchical society by becoming a writer instead of a speech-maker, which bears a resemblance to Pramoedya's life who was jailed for two years after carrying anti-Dutch documents and then became a writer.
It was returned to print in Indonesia in by the publisher Lentera Depantara, after it had already appeared worldwide in 33 languages. This Earth of Mankind tells the story of Minke, a Javanese minor royal who studies at a Hogere Burger School HBS in an era when only the descendants of the European colonizers can expect to attain this level of education. Minke is a talented young writer whose works are published in several Dutch-language journals and are widely admired.
But as a "native", Minke is disliked by many of his fellow-students, who all claim some European descent. He is portrayed as being bold in opposing the injustices imposed upon his fellow Javanese as well as challenging aspects of his own culture.
Minke is introduced to an extremely unusual Indonesian woman, Nyai Ontosoroh, who is the concubine of a Dutch man called Herman Mellema.
Though she is a concubine, Nyai Ontosoroh is the actual head of family and company as Herman Mellema lost his sanity in the past. In that period, it was common for women to become the concubines of Dutch men living in the East Indies. They were considered to have low morals because of their status as concubines, even if, as in Nyai Ontosoro's case, they had no choice in the matter. Their children had uncertain legal status - either considered illegitimate "natives" with a corresponding lack of legal rights, unless legally acknowledged by their father, in which case they were considered "Indos", and their mother lost all rights over them in favor of the father.
As a concubine, Nyai Ontosoro suffers because of her low status and lack of rights, but, significantly, is aware of the injustice of her suffering and believes education is the route by which her basic humanity can be acknowledged. She believes that learning is the key to opposing indignity, stupidity, and poverty.
However, the decision to have the children of their relationship legally acknowledged as Herman Mellema's children has catastrophic consequences by the end of the book. For Pramoedya, education is the key to changing one's fate.
For instance, Nyai Ontosoro, who had no formal schooling and who was educated by her experiences, from books, and from her daily life, was a far more inspiring educator than Minke's high school teachers. However, This Earth of Mankind also powerfully portrays the reality of Dutch colonial government in Indonesia through the lives of the characters, where Minke's education and Nyai Ontosoro's success in business count for little when ranged against the unyielding Dutch colonial law.
After release from detention in April , Hasjim Rachman , the former editor of the Eastern Star and Pramoedya met with Joesoef Isak , a former journalist of the Merdeka newspaper who had been detained in Salemba prison. After various discussion, an agreement was reached to publish works by ex-political prisoners that had not previously been welcomed by other publishers.
Pramoedya began working hard to sort through the papers that he had managed to retrieve from the island of Buru. Nearly all the original manuscript had been detained by the prison officials and had not been returned.
For three months he re-composed and sorted through the stained and weather-worn pages to create the manuscript for the book. In the meantime, Hasjim and Joesoef made the rounds of key government officials, including the Vice-President, Adam Malik , who were positively disposed towards the enterprise. In July , the manuscript of This Earth of Mankind was sent to the Aga Press printers with the hope that it would be published before the celebrations for the Indonesian Declaration of Independence on 17 August, although in the end it was published on 25 August, having been delayed by the celebrations.
This first edition was very simple, with no illustrations. For Pramoedya, the publishing of This Earth of Mankind signified his "determination, sincerity, and resolution to invest in the development of democracy in Indonesia - and not a democracy built upon colonialism, but a democracy that is the result of our own efforts".
Within a few months of being published, several publishers in Hong Kong , Malaysia , the Netherlands , and Australia approached the publishers, Hasta Mitra, for permission to prepare translations.
Pramoedya as the author would receive royalties on these translations, while the role of Hasta Mitra was only to act as agents.
By November, Hasta Mitra had published its third edition, and had sold as many as 10, copies. The book was well-received critically, acclaimed as "the best work of literature of our times", while the Armed Forces daily newspaper, published by the headquarters of the Indonesian Armed Forces called it "a new contribution to the treasury of Indonesian literature".
This Earth of Mankind was banned by the Attorney General of Indonesia in on the grounds that it promoted Marxist-Leninist doctrines and Communism , even though neither doctrine is mentioned in the book. Initially, the Ampat Lima printing house, which actually printed This Earth of Mankind , were asked not to produce any more works published by Hasta Mitra.
The editors of major media organizations were contacted, to the effect that they were not allowed to review or praise This Earth of Mankind or any other of Pramoedya's works. In April , various New Order youth groups held discussion sessions which criticized the work of Pramoedya. These discussions were trumpeted by the mass media as evidence of the disapproval of 'the people'. Subsequently, these discussions provided an important justification for the eventual banning of the work by the Attorney General.
The Association of Indonesian Publishers IKAPI , which were organizing an exhibition of the books of that year, suddenly sent a letter to the address of Hasta Mitra, revoking Hasta Mitra's membership in the association, despite the fact that the committee had been enthusiastic about inviting the publisher to become a member and be involved in its activities. Newspapers which had previously been sympathetic became increasingly reluctant to give space to the author, and there were even several pieces of writing, ready to be published, which were suddenly rejected just because their authors had praised the work of Pramoedya.
In the regulation, among other things, were mentioned a letter from Suharto which had been written a week previously, and a meeting with the Minister of the Interior on 18 May The banning of the book was entirely political and had nothing to do with the books' literary qualities, scholarly arguments nor the official reason that the books were pro-communist.
All bookshops and agents were visited by people from the Attorney General's office and all copies of This Earth of Mankind and Child of All Nations were confiscated. In fact, several of them took the initiative and voluntarily surrendered copies of the books.
However, by August , only copies of the books had been confiscated from the close to 20, copies in circulation. The Ampat Lima company, which had originally printed the two novels also ceased trading because of pressure from the Attorney General's office and the Interior Ministry. This Earth of Mankind has also been made into an Indonesian language film. On 3 September , Hatoek Soebroto, an Indonesian film producer, along with the Elang Perkasa Corporation signed a contract for the production of the film with the Pramoedya's family's agents.
The search for locations began at the end of At the beginning of , production began with Armantono as scriptwriter. The adaptation film of this novel, the film Bumi Manusia was screened in Indonesian cinemas in August From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Historical novel. Hasta Mitra. Child of All Nations.
7 Reason Why "Bumi Manusia" by Pramoedya Ananta toer is a legend
Pram had proven to have true credibility in literature. His works, although banned and even disowned, are still great reads even until today, after dozens of years. Everything about Bumi Manusia is about fighting. From fighting for justice, for truth, for love up to for human rights.
Bringing Pramoedya Ananta Toer's 'Bumi Manusia' to the Big Screen, Finally
The story is set at the end of the Dutch colonial rule and was written while Pramoedya was imprisoned on the political island prison of Buru in eastern Indonesia. The story was first narrated verbally to Pramoedya's fellow prisoners in because he did not get permission to write. The central character and the narrator of This Earth of Mankind is a Javanese boy, Minke, who is fortunate to attend an elite Dutch school because he is a descendant of Javanese royalty the character is based on Tirto Adhi Soerjo. Minke faces a complex and dangerous world when he meets Nyai Ontosoroh, a njai or concubine of a Dutch man. Minke's life becomes more dangerous when he falls in love with Annelies, the beautiful Indo daughter of Nyai Ontosoroh.