On Saturday, 26th January 2008 Silverfish Books will host the launch of his latest, On God and Other Things, the English translation of his book of aphorisms, Tentang Tuhan dan Hal-Hal yang Tak Selesai. This event is sponsored by the Malaysian International Literature Society (MILS). The event will start at 5.00pm
Goenawan Mohamad's latest book of aphorisms, Tentang Tuhan dan Hal-Hal yang Tak Selesai, is inspired by Roestam Effendi's 1925 poetry collection, Pertjikan Permenungan (Scraps of Thought). Each of its parts is written with brevity, or with near-brevity -- a cut or a remnant of sorts of a larger piece. All 99 of these "scraps" can be read sometimes as parts that support or refute one another, other times as pieces that stand on their own.
While some of them are variations of the themes found in Catatan Pinggir (Sidelines), Goenawan’s weekly thought pieces in the newsmagazine Tempo, others are categorically new. All were written in times not unlike the one we are currently experiencing now, in which God seems to be irrefutable and religion gains ever more currency in the lives of many: dispensing strength, illuminating the path, but is at the same time confusing and frightening.
The book has been translated into English by the Indonesian poet and writer Laksmi Pamuntjak under the title On God and Other Unfinished Things.
Goenawan will talk about his book, and says in his email.
I understand that right now in Malaysia there is a raging controversy over the word "Allah", with the government imposing a ban on the use of the word by non-Moslems and the subsequent protests by the Malaysian Christians ... I hope my book, and my opinion, will not create a problem ...
Looks like we will be srating our new year with a bang. I suppose we can expect some visitations.
Admission is free and everyone is welcome. But space is limited. (Please do not telephone us to make reservations because we will not be taking any -- but you can call us to give us an indication of numbers. Admission will be strictly on first-come-first basis, subject to availability of space.) A limited number of his books (in Indonesian and in English) will be on sale at Silverfish Books.