Minor Prose Writers of the Angkatan 45
M. Balfas is one of the minor authors of the Angkatan 45. This is the movement to which he clearly belongs and has always regarded himself as belonging. His early literary work is collected in a book of short stories, Lingkaran-lingkaran Retak 210 (Broken Circles, 1952), which like so many of the stories from the same period, are concerned with the victims and underdogs — the “cross boys” and urchins of Djakarta, in Anak Revolusi (Children of the Revolution); the blind girl who is passed by and becomes an old maid in Lagu Gandrung (Love Song); and the kampong Eurasians in Rumah Disebelah and Tuan Jakup (The House Next Door and Mr. Jakup). But his most interesting writing is to be found in the fragments of the, unfortunately uncompleted, novel Si Gomar, the story of Si Umar, a typical anak Betawi (Djakartan), and his family. Balfas gives us an inside picture of life inside this big city kampong; this is apparently the world he knows most intimately, the world to which he belongs emotionally; the genuine Djakarta dialect which he uses is lively and true to life, and thus he succeeds in giving us a vivid picture of these people in their own milieu.
KeywordsLiterary Work Short Story Provisional Survey Vivid Picture Young Writer
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