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Jakarta Post

Taufiq Ismail: A constant battle against ignorance

  • Emmy Fitri and Iwan Setiawan

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 15 2008   /  10:17 am

TAUFIK ISMAIL: (JP/Ricky Yudhistira) There were times in the country's literary history when men and women of letters had done everything, except come up with a solution on how to overcome the under-development of a reading culture and the lack of appreciation for literary works, veteran poet Taufiq Ismail reminisced recently. "We were furious whenever we talked about the poor reading culture of the public and how this had come about. Angry, angry and angry," he recalled with lively laughter. To Taufiq, who this year marks a literary career spanning 55 years, works of literature are a source of mankind's enlightenment. They sharpen the senses, bring people to explore their inner selves, and most of all, celebrate the essential humanity of human beings, he said. His upbringing landed him where he is now. "My father took me on his bicycle every m...