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Locating Life StoriesBeyond East-West Binaries in (Auto)Biographical Studies$
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Maureen Perkins

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824837303

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824837303.001.0001

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“Don’t write this”: Researching Provincial Biographies in Indonesia

“Don’t write this”: Researching Provincial Biographies in Indonesia

(p.169) “Don’t write this”: Researching Provincial Biographies in Indonesia
Locating Life Stories

Gerry Van Klinken

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter asserts that biographers frequently perceive their task in a different light than do the gatekeepers of biographical sources upon which they must rely. The gatekeeper has in mind a pleasing portrait, while the biographer looks for possibly unflattering social and psychological processes. One feels responsibility to the subject, the other considers mainly the subject's responsibility to the world. These differences can become a dilemma if the gatekeeper holds nearly all the available information on the subject, which is often the case in the Indonesian provinces of the 1950s. The dilemma grows if the gatekeeper invests this knowledge with the honor of family, town, class, or perhaps even nation.

Keywords:   biographers, gatekeepers, Indonesian provinces, information, biographical sources

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