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Situated TestimoniesDread and Enchantment in an Indonesian Literary Archive$
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Laurie J. Sears

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836832

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836832.001.0001

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Masculinist Trauma and Feminist Melancholia

Masculinist Trauma and Feminist Melancholia

Chapter:
(p.176) Chapter 6 Masculinist Trauma and Feminist Melancholia
Source:
Situated Testimonies
Author(s):

Laurie J. Sears

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824836832.003.0006

This chapter presents a critique of the masculinist Indonesian nation by drawing on the works of feminist writer Ayu Utami, with particular emphasis on her novel Saman and its sequel Larung. In Saman and Larung, Ayu investigates how trauma shapes and haunts Indonesian archives. Both novels feature doubled heroes who are both activists for the cause of the nation, but one is sane and one is not. In her work, Ayu portrays events and characters that suggest that post-reformasi Indonesia still suffers from the traumas of the New Order period and that melancholia or depression may be the affect haunting contemporary Indonesia. This chapter considers Ayu's use of Freudian ideas to evoke the trauma and phantoms that are ever-present and meaningful in her novels. It also discusses Ayu's alternative to critical melancholia—what she calls critical spirituality—that she articulates in her 2008 novel Bilangan Fu (The Fu Numeral).

Keywords:   trauma, Indonesia, Ayu Utami, Saman, Larung, novels, melancholia, phantoms, critical spirituality, Bilangan Fu

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