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Jakarta Post

Ajip Rosidi: A great man of culture

  • Yuli Tri Suwarni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 6 2008   /  10:23 am

At just 15, Ajip Rosidi's short stories and poems had already been published in prominent magazines, allowing him to make the money he needed to satisfy his passion for books. AJIP ROSIDI: (JP/Yuli Tri Suwarni) Now 70, Ajip said magazines such as Mimbar Indonesia, Siasat and Zenith paid him between Rp 25 and Rp 125 for each piece he wrote. At the time it was a lot of money, as a kilogram of rice cost Rp 1. Ajip began to write after reading Penuntun Karang Mengarang (A Guide to Writing) by Si Uma. But the book that inspired him most was Amal Hamzah's Pembebasan Pertama (The First Liberation). At night, while other teenagers were sleeping, Ajip sharpened his mind and expressed his feelings through writing poems and stories. "I learned a lot by listening to people who were much older than me and had more experience. My self-confidence to make a livi...