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Jakarta Post

John McGlynn: The uphill climb for Indonesian literature

  • Dylan Amirio

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, September 11 2017   /  12:40 am

JP/I Gede Dharma JSBooks are the essential element of the creative sector. From books come things like apps, films and games.” This was the sentiment shared by Lontar Foundation’s co-founder John H. McGlynn, an American who has been in Indonesia for the past 40 years and shares a passion for Indonesian arts as a whole. The Lontar Foundation was founded in 1987 by McGlynn, who initially came to Indonesia to study shadow puppetry in 1977, as well as prominent Indonesian authors such as Goenawan Mohamad, Sapardi Djoko Damono and Umar Kayam. Initially, the foundation was established as a way to translate Indonesian literature for overseas markets. But after seeing the lackluster commercial response, the foundation that has mainly focused on being a publisher and translator of Indonesian writings now applies a tighter selection process to pick the literary works it translates.De...