A Quote from Pramoedya Ananta Toer


Indonesia has got a great author that we are proud of. His name is Pramoedya Ananta Toer.  

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If you are not familiar with him and are interested, please click on his name above. A link to his short-biography in Wikipedia is available there.  I don’t think I need to babble about him. The fact that his Tetra-logy: “This Earth of Mankind”, “Child of All Nations”, “House of Glass”, and “Footsteps” have been translated into English by Penguin as well as the fact that he was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature a couple years ago speak much of his quality.

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I personally find his writings thought provoking and highly entertaining in equal measure. One quote from him that I would like to share with you all is this:

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“We all have to accept reality, yes, that’s true. But just to accept reality and do nothing else, that is the attitude of human beings who have lost the ability to develop and grow, because human beings also have the ability to create new realities. And if there are no longer people who want to create new realities, then perhaps the word “progress” should be removed altogether from humankind’s vocabulary.” 

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29 thoughts on “A Quote from Pramoedya Ananta Toer

  1. Pingback: Thank You, Beautiful Stranger! :-) « Subhan Zein

    • Hello, Secil. 🙂

      Thank you very much. It’s been a while since your last post. I hope things are going well in your life. And by the way, I have migrated to a new Facebook page, in case you didn’t get the invitation. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

      Subhan Zein

  2. Hello again, wanted to thank you for the follow 🙂
    How did you learn to write in English so well?
    -S

    • Hello, Susan. 🙂 Feel free to disagree, but in my view what drives people more to achieve results is the answer to the question “why?” than the answer to the question “how?” I’m most certain that if you read my “About” page, you’ll know why… 🙂

      Subhan Zein

  3. My heart made a leap when I saw this post because I actually studied this great man’s work in Malay Literature and I absolutely admire him for so many reasons. His work is revolutionary and must be a great national pride for all Indonesians. And what a great quote! The power of his wisdom are still ringing in my mind after reading this. Thank you Subhan for another excellent post. Sharon

    • Oh, wow! You studied him at school? That’s awesome. 🙂

      It’s a shame that due to dodgy political considerations his books were banned under New Order regime. Soeharto did not really like him. And as a consequence, I didn’t even study him at school. I was fortunate enough to read his books here in Australia, though, but they are in English translation. I haven’t read the original one written in Bahasa Indonesia, but I am sure they’re equally-or even more- powerful. 🙂

      Subhan Zein

      • Wow, what an honour for us. Imagine what a privilege that we in neighbouring Malaysia got to study him in his original Bahasa Indonesia! Well, if you ever go to Malaysia, you can try the bookstores for Bumi Manusia perhaps? And yes, I think to read the author in his original language is more powerful, also because there are nuances which cannot be translated, I think. There is a richness in the Indonesian language which I love. Sharon

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