7.19.2004

I have been feeling so burnt out lately, which believe me is rather remarkable given my current lifestyle. The things in my life that are in flux - job, apartment, big decisions - are big enough, though, that I don't feel too bad about feeling a bit disengaged from the many (fulfilling) obligations I've created for myself.

Perusing the latest literary news, I came across this article that totally gave me the renewed sense of purpose that I was looking for (on Google news, of course; where else would I find salvation except amongst words - millions of them)...

It's from a piece published today in the most fabulous, underrated (on the East Coast) paper I can think of: The LA Times, and it's about a small, fledgling group that is struggling with the herculean (some might say sisyphean, or perhaps, xena-esque) task of creating a cohesive canon of Indonesian literature:
In 1988 the Lontar Foundation was born; its first publication was a collection of Damono's work called "Suddenly the Night."

Since then the foundation has published scores of books and branched out into documenting some of the archipelago's cultural traditions, such as regional theater and dance, which are threatened by the irresistible pull of globalization.

"Until Lontar was established, people abroad didn't look at Indonesian literature as literature," McGlynn says. "Whenever Indonesia appears in a newspaper it's because of a disaster. I wanted to create a more accurate picture. Not necessarily a better picture but a more balanced one."

Today Elizabeth emailed me about creating a definition of Cupcake, and I was hard pressed to sum it up. And of course, here's a perfect example right in front of me (in that quotation)that just begs to be emulated because it's just so pure and true. So much of the discourse around the role of women in literature has a negative twinge to it, and we're here to say that feminism is fabulous and that women writers are absolutely where it's at, so to speak. And of course all that wonderful jumble about creating a more accurate picture, et al. More eloquent words tk.

-Lauren

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