The Greatest Literary Works

literary works documentation. essay on literature. student paper. etc

Popular Islamic book a trendsetter

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Ayat Ayat cinta (The Verses of Love) film is attracting huge crowds.

The movie, produced following the popularity of an Islamic novel with the same title, has been long awaited by the people.

The book has sold more than 350,000 copies and by the beginning of this year, it had been published 29 times since its first appearance in 2005.

People now want to see the visualization of the story and a pop song has been produced as the movie's theme song.

What makes the song so attractive to the consumers is the popularity of the singer and songwriter.

The song is composed by a popular female musician and composer, Melly Goeslaw. And, the singer, Rossa, is one of the most favorable in the country.

People have responded to the song very positively and it is now a popular music album in Indonesia.

Popular Islamic books (broadly defined as print publication distributing non-academic works, focusing on the concerns of ordinary people), as represented by the novel, are becoming a trend in Indonesia.

They have not only become popular with readers, but have generated other byproducts through the pop industries.

If the novel represents a trend, from movies to pop songs, a Sufistic book entitled La Tahzan (Don't be Said) written by a Saudi scholar Abdullah al-Qarni, should be added to the list of Islamic popular books that become trend setters.

La Tahzan has attracted other publishers to produce other print publications written by other authors, but with similar titles.

Examples include La Tahzan for Muslimah (first published in August 2007), La Tahzan for Girls (first published in March 2007), La Tahzan for Teens (first published in August 2007), and La Tahzan for Kids (first published in July 2007).

The high demand for popular books on Islam indicates people are more interested with popular rather than serious books.

The implication is that popular Islamic books contribute much to the shaping of Islamic beliefs and practices among Indonesian Muslims.

The contribution appears stronger if we relate the issue of popular Islamic books to new, rising genres.

Characteristically, these new, growing genres include so-called "Islamic songlit" (a kind of popular Islamic printed book publication aimed at developing ideas or emotions emanating from a certain song), "Islamic teenlit" (a kind of popular Islamic printed book devoted and segmented to teenage consumers), Islamic comic books, Islamic cartoon storybooks, popular Sufistic literature, and Islamic novel literature.

Through its growing significant role as a trend setter, the popular Islamic book along with its varied new genres, contributes not only to the transmission of Islamic teachings but also to the shaping of Islamic beliefs and practices of ordinary Muslims.

The term "ordinary" refers to those Muslims who are not exposed specifically to the study of Islam in Islamic schools or education.

The personal story of Sukarno, an Indonesian Muslim with a combined Javanese-Balinese family background who then became the first President of the Republic of Indonesia, encapsulates the significant role of Islamic publications as a means for the transmission of Islamic teachings and the shaping of Islamic beliefs and practices.

Growing in a sociological milieu with a more nationalist than Islamic ideological inclination, Sukarno, as reported by his mouthpiece, a nationalist-based newspaper, Suluh Indonesia (Nov. 25, 1957), admittedly described himself as having for a long time become "Islam-islaman (a Muslim with a poor understanding of Islamic teachings)."

During the period of his being sent to exile in a number of places, from Flores to Bengkulu, he then more closely studied Islamic teachings by reading a range of Islamic books, written in both Indonesian and other languages.

This gave Sukarno an increasingly improved understanding of Islamic teachings, until he more importantly said: "Now ... I believe with all effort in the truth of Islamic teachings" (Suluh Indonesia, Jan.25, 1957).

One of the readers of the novel Ayat-ayat Cinta also told me this: "We really like Ayat-ayat Cinta. I now know how to behave in an Islamic manner when I fall in love with someone. And, I want my boyfriend to follow the characteristics of being a good Muslim boy like Fahri, one of the characters in the novel Ayat-ayat Cinta."

Popular Islamic publications have an important role in constructing a certain Islamic intellectual tradition among ordinary Muslim communities.

This intellectual tradition of religious beliefs refers not only to the transmitting of the tradition of the sacred text itself, but also to the determining of variants within the interpretation and understanding of the text within communities.

Borrowing the terms of Edward Shils, popular Islamic books along with a process of transmission of Islamic teachings, reflect the so-called "recurrent reaffirmation" of certain traditions by means of artifacts and symbols (in writing and publication).

And, the extension of the popular Islamic book's role toward film and music more significantly justifies the increasing process of such a recurrent reaffirmation through not only print but also audio-visual media.

This article written by Akh. Muzakki. The writer is lecturer at the State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Sunan Ampel Surabaya and PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is a visiting scholar at the P3M, Jakarta and can be reached at

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Los Angeles Criminal & DUI Defense

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

When you, your friend, your family or someone you loved facing a law problem in California, for instance, have been arrested, to know more about the basics of Criminal defense Law in California visit Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys | California DUI Felony Misdemeanor Lawyers.

This site has provided comprehensive answers to many of the common questions related to that topic. To get questions answered about the specifics of your criminal matter, contact to low officer. Every case is different. The best "answer" and most effective legal strategy depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the specific arrest. Learn more about this topic at Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys | California DUI Felony Misdemeanor Lawyers

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Islamic romance novels make splash

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

The best-selling novel Ayat-ayat Cinta (Love Verses) has sparked public enthusiasm in other "Islamic romance fiction" at the week-long Islamic Book Fair in Bung Karno Indoor Stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta.

"The novel (Ayat-ayat Cinta) is relaxing, easy to read but on the other side it is capable of enlightening readers with Islamic values," visitor Yusmirah Fitri told The Jakarta Post Saturday while shopping at the book fair, which was officially opened by First Lady Kristiani Herawati.

Ayat-ayat Cinta is written by Habiburrahman El Shirazy and published by Republika. The romance fiction, which takes Egypt as its background, has been flying off shelves since 2004.

Reprinted 37 times with some 750,000 copies in print, there is also a movie by the same name by Citra-winning director Hanung Bramantyo now in theaters.

Fitri said she had read and collected almost all romance novels by Habiburrahman, an Indonesian who studied for a master's degree in Cairo. The 31-year-old has so far published six best-seller romances, including Ayat-ayat Cinta.

Republika said Islamic romance novels were enjoying a level of success quite unlike that of Islamic reference books.

"Ayat-ayat Cinta still holds the record, defeating any best-selling reference book we have ever printed," Republika's marketing coordinator Arif Budiman told the Post.

Besides Islamic romance fiction, biographical books featuring love stories involving eminent Muslim figures have also made a splash in literary circles, outselling major Islamic texts.

Publisher of "Pena", a book on the life of the Prophet Muhammad's wife Aisyah, said biographies with a high romance content were appealing to female readers, including some who wouldn't normally be interested in religious books.

"We see female book lovers commonly enjoy reading love stories, so we think why not try to have more people read Islamic books by publishing love stories of Muslim figures," said Pena's marketing director Muchaeroni. [The Jakarta Post]

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Polemik Ayat-ayat Cinta: Indonesian Best Seller Novel

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sukses film "Ayat-ayat Cinta" (AAC) yang sebelumnya diangkat dari novel islami karya Habiburahman El Shirazy membuat nama penulis asal Semarang tersebut semakin di kenal luas. Sebelum heboh film AAC, novel Kang Abik tersebut memang sudah menjadi best seller dan konon sudah tercetak lebih dari 400 ribu kopi. Dari kabar terakhir, penonton film AAC sudah menembus angkat 3 juta lebih sejak diputar perdananya pada 28 Februari 2008.

Banyak pujian dialamatkan kepada penulis novel alumnus Al Azhar, Kairo, Mesir itu. Pun juga kepada Hanung Bramantyo, sang sutradara yang menggarap novel AAC ke layar lebar. Pujian itu diberikan karena film ini dinilai telah memberikan pengaruh yang positif, menyampaikan ajaran-ajaran moral yang tinggi.

Namun demikian, kesuksesan buku ini, bagi pihak lain menunjukkan betapa rendahnya selera masyarakat pembaca Indonesia akan sebuah karya yang bagus. Kritik atas AAC tidak jauh dari nuansa dakwah yang disampaikan penulisnya yang dinilai seperti teks khotbah, dan juga tokoh Fahri sebagai pemeran utama yang sangat lurus dan sempurna.

Berikut ini, saya mengumpulkan beberapa link penting untuk dokumentasi seputar fenomena Ayat-ayat Cinta baik dalam versi buku atau terakhir, versi film:

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Syllabus of Creative Writing

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

Siswo Harsono arranged a syllabus for his Creative Writing class. This syllabus recommended for students or lecturers who are conducting a Creative Writing course.

1. Prerequisite: Writing
2. General Objectives:
In Creative Writing Program, the students will be introduced to the basics of poetic writing, prose writing, playwriting, and scriptwriting in order that they are able to write creative forms of narrative, poetic, dramatic, and cinematic texts.

3. Lesson Plan
  • Meeting
  • Discussion
  • Sub-discussion
  • Specific Objectives
  1. Poetic Writing. Poetic genre, format, and, elements. In order that the students are able to understand the genre, format and the elements of poetic text.
  2. Short Model Poems. Poetic adaptation. In order that the students are able to write and adapt short model poems
  3. Poetic Composition. Writing a poem. In order that the students are able to write and compose short model poems
  4. Prose Writing. Narrative genre, format, and elements. In order that the students are able to understand the genre, format and the elements of prosy text.
  5. Short Model Stories. Narrative adaptation. In order that the students are able to write and compose short model stories.
  6. Narrative Composition. Writing a short story.In order that the students are able to write and compose short model stories.
  7. Mid Test. Creative writing test and assignment. To evaluate the students’ creative writings for the first half semester.
  8. Playwriting. Dramatic genre, format, and elements. In order that the students are able to understand the genre, format and the elements of plays.
  9. Short Model Plays. Dramatic adaptation. In order that the students are able to write and adapt short model plays.
  10. Dramatic Composition. Writing a short play. In order that the students are able to write and compose short model plays.
  11. Scriptwriting. Script genre, format, and elements. In order that the students are able to understand the genre, format and the elements of scripts.
  12. Short Model Scripts. Scripts adaptation. In order that the students are able to write and adapt short model scripts.
  13. Script Composition. Writing a short script. In order that the students are able to write and compose short model scripts
  14. Final Test. Creative writing test and assignment. To evaluate the students’ creative writing for the second half semester
4. References
Bishop, Leonard. 1988. Dare To Be A Great Writer. Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books.
Brooks, Keith. 1995. The Complete Video Course. London: Boxtree, Ltd.
Hedgecoe, John. 1990. Hedgecoe on Video. London: Hamlyn.
Knickerbocker, K L and others. 1985. Interpreting Literature. 7th ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Novakovich, Josip. 1998. Writing Fiction: Step By Step. Ohio: Story Press.
Perrine, Laurence. 1987. Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. New York: HBJ.
Skaggs, Calvin, ed. 1977. The American Short Story in Two Media—Print and Film. New York: A Laurel Book.
Wolff, Jurgen and Cox, Kerry. 1991. Successful Script
. Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books.

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AAC Puncak Fiksi Islam

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

Film Ayat Ayat Cinta (AAC) memikat 3 juta penonton. Novelnya terjual lebih dari 400 ribu eksemplar. Sastrawan Ahmadun Yosi Herfanda menyebut AAC sebagai puncak karya fiksi Islami.

Ahmadun yang adalah redaktur sastra Raepublika merupakan orang yang menawari novel itu untuk dijadikan cerita bersambung di Republika. Habiburrahman El Shirazy, si penulis novel, menjadi salah satu 'murid' saat Ahmadun memberikan pelatihan menulis dalam diklat penulisan di Al Azhar, Kairo Mesir.

Bagaimana kisah AAC diterbitkan menjadi sebuah novel? Apa pendapat Ahmadun yang juga seorang sastrawan itu tentang AAC? Berikut wawancaranya:

Bisa diceritakan bagaimana Ayat Ayat Cinta kemudian diterbitkan Republika?

Habib (Habiburrahman El Shirazy) itu salah seorang peserta diklat penulisan fiksi yang diadakan mahasiswa Mesir Al Azhar. Saya menjadi salah satu pembicara yang diundang ke sana. Terus dia pulang ke Indonesia bikin novel.

Awalnya dia mau menerbitkan sendiri lewat Basmala, penerbit milik Habib. Dia menelepon saya minta diberikan pengantar. Datanglah ke rumah saya di Pamulang.

Begitu ditunjukkan naskahnya, saya lihat judulnya menarik. Mengingatkan pada Ayat-Ayat Setan. Kok ada Ayat-Ayat Cinta? Orang pasti ingin tahu apa isinya. Nah lalu saya tawari agar dimuat sebagai cerita bersambung dulu di Republika. Saat itu saya belum membacanya, tapi sangat tertarik dengan judulnya.

Selain itu, saya niatnya menolong. Dia (Habib) itu kan korban kecelakaan. Ia ingin merintis pesantren dan penerbitan. Nah saya ingin meringankan. Dia setuju untuk dimuat di Republika maka jadilah cerbung di Republika.

Ternyata kemudian banyak yang tertarik dan mengirim SMS minta novel itu dibukukan. Ada beberapa penerbit yang juga menelepon ingin menerbitkannya. Tapi Republika kan punya penerbit buku sendiri dan setelah saya sampaikan penerbit tertarik dan lantas minta Habib untuk diterbitkan di Republika.

Apa kekuatan Ayat Ayat Cinta sehingga bisa laris?

Kekuatan pertama ya judulnya, seperti yang saya jelaskan tadi. Kedua, pada keteladanan tokoh Fahri. Menurut saya, ini merupakan puncak idealisasi fenomena fiksi islam. Saat itu kan lagi fiksi Islami berkembang sebagai sebuah fenomena. Kita belum menemukan puncaknya seperti apa. Kemudian muncullah Ayat-Ayat Cinta dengan mengangkat teladan tokoh yang menarik.

Teladan tokoh ini penting bagi pembaca muda maupun pembaca perempuan dan keluarga yang memang merindukan bacaan yang mencerahkan. Fahri ini mengandung keteladaan, bisa jadi teladan perjuangan, sikap keislaman. Dan itu ternyata pas untuk kebutuhan pembaca.

Kekuatan ketiga, romantismenya. Ini novel romantis yang Islami. Jarang kisah cinta segiempat didekati secara Islami. Di novel itu kan, pergaulan mereka sangat Islami.Ternyata masyarakat kita masih terpikat atau terpesona kisah yang romantis. Yang namanya novel romantis selalu laris. Misalnya novelnya Hamka.

Adakah faktor dari luar yang menyebabkan novel ini laris?

Mungkin saat itu masyarakat jenuh dengan novel yang mengumbar seks. Saya berpikir ini bisa jadi novel alternatif. Ini puncak fiksi Islami yang memberikan pencerahan, jadi banyak dicari.

Apakah saat menawari untuk jadi cerbung di Republika, anda sudah membayangkan AAC akan meledak?

Ini di luar bayangan saya. Saya memang membayangkan novel ini akan laris. Tapi kalau sampai best seller bahkan mega best seller itu di luar dugaan. Saya membayangkannya selaris buku Islami lainnya. Tapi kan ternyata bisa selaris bahkan mungkin lebih laris dari Saman Ayu Utami, ini luar biasa.

Apa kelemahan novel AAC?

Kekurangan? Pendekatan sastra murni belum masuk ke sana. Nilai sastra agak kurang. Tapi sebabagi novel pop yang Islami cukup kuat. Dalam pengkajian forum sastra yang akademis, novel ini dianggap novel pop saja, seperti karya La Rose dan Marga T, cuma Islami.

Soal tokoh Fahri bagaimana?

Sebagai novel pop yang romantis, tokohnya memang tidak beda jauh dengan dongeng, di mana yang dihadirkan tokoh impian. Ya laki-laki ideal menurut penulisnya ya seperti Fahri. Dalam realitasnya nggak ada. Namanya dongeng kan tidak membumi seperti cverita pangeran katak itu.

Anda sudah melihat filmnya?

Sudah. Untuk filmnya punya logika hiburan tersendiri. Di film sepertinya mengekploitasi romantisme, jadi betul-betul diekploitasi agar bisa nangis. Karakterisasi dan keteladanan Fahri kurang malah ada tambahan soal poligami sebagai pengembangan naskah. Tentu saya kecewa juga. Tapi di sisi lain saya mencoba memahami logika dunia hiburan.

Memang tidak sekuat novelnya. Tapi tetap ada manfaatnya, aspek pencerahan masih ada, misalnya sikap keilslaman Fahri yang membela perempuan dan tetap membawa Islam yang damai dan ramah. (source:

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"What Is Art?" (excerpts) by Leo Tolstoy

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

This essay (originally published in 1896) and the translation by Alymer Maude (first published in 1899) are in the public domain and may be freely reproduced.

About the Author: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), although best known for his literary works, also wrote various essays on art, history, and religion.

The discussion questions, bibliographic references, and hyperlinks have been added by Julie Van Camp. (Copyright Julie C. Van Camp 1997) They too may be freely reproduced, so long as this complete citation is included with any such reproductions.

Paragraph numbering below has been added to facilitate class discussion. It was not included in the original text.

CHAPTER FIVE (excerpts). . .

#1. In order correctly to define art, it is necessary, first of all, to cease to consider it as a means to pleasure and to consider it as one of the conditions of human life. Viewing it in this way we cannot fail to observe that art is one of the means of intercourse between man and man.

#2. Every work of art causes the receiver to enter into a certain kind of relationship both with him who produced, or is producing, the art, and with all those who, simultaneously, previously, or subsequently, receive the same artistic impression.

#3. Speech, transmitting the thoughts and experiences of men, serves as a means of union among them, and art acts in a similar manner. The peculiarity of this latter means of intercourse, distinguishing it from intercourse by means of words, consists in this, that whereas by words a man transmits his thoughts to another, by means of art he transmits his feelings.

#4. The activity of art is based on the fact that a man, receiving through his sense of hearing or sight another man's expression of feeling, is capable of experiencing the emotion which moved the man who expressed it. To take the simplest example; one man laughs, and another who hears becomes merry; or a man weeps, and another who hears feels sorrow. A man is excited or irritated, and another man seeing him comes to a similar state of mind. By his movements or by the sounds of his voice, a man expresses courage and determination or sadness and calmness, and this state of mind passes on to others. A man suffers, expressing his sufferings by groans and spasms, and this suffering transmits itself to other people; a man expresses his feeling of admiration, devotion, fear, respect, or love to certain objects, persons, or phenomena, and others are infected by the same feelings of admiration, devotion, fear, respect, or love to the same objects, persons, and phenomena.

#5. And it is upon this capacity of man to receive another man's expression of feeling and experience those feelings himself, that the activity of art is based.

#6. If a man infects another or others directly, immediately, by his appearance or by the sounds he gives vent to at the very time he experiences the feeling; if he causes another man to yawn when he himself cannot help yawning, or to laugh or cry when he himself is obliged to laugh or cry, or to suffer when he himself is suffering - that does not amount to art.

#7. Art begins when one person, with the object of joining another or others to himself in one and the same feeling, expresses that feeling by certain external indications. To take the simplest example: a boy, having experienced, let us say, fear on encountering a wolf, relates that encounter; and, in order to evoke in others the feeling he has experienced, describes himself, his condition before the encounter, the surroundings, the woods, his own lightheartedness, and then the wolf's appearance, its movements, the distance between himself and the wolf, etc. All this, if only the boy, when telling the story, again experiences the feelings he had lived through and infects the hearers and compels them to feel what the narrator had experienced is art. If even the boy had not seen a wolf but had frequently been afraid of one, and if, wishing to evoke in others the fear he had felt, he invented an encounter with a wolf and recounted it so as to make his hearers share the feelings he experienced when he feared the world, that also would be art. And just in the same way it is art if a man, having experienced either the fear of suffering or the attraction of enjoyment (whether in reality or in imagination) expresses these feelings on canvas or in marble so that others are infected by them. And it is also art if a man feels or imagines to himself feelings of delight, gladness, sorrow, despair, courage, or despondency and the transition from one to another of these feelings, and expresses these feelings by sounds so that the hearers are infected by them and experience them as they were experienced by the composer.

#8. The feelings with which the artist infects others may be most various - very strong or very weak, very important or very insignificant, very bad or very good: feelings of love for one's own country, self-devotion and submission to fate or to God expressed in a drama, raptures of lovers described in a novel, feelings of voluptuousness expressed in a picture, courage expressed in a triumphal march, merriment evoked by a dance, humor evoked by a funny story, the feeling of quietness transmitted by an evening landscape or by a lullaby, or the feeling of admiration evoked by a beautiful arabesque - it is all art.

#9. If only the spectators or auditors are infected by the feelings which the author has felt, it is art.

#10. To evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, then, by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed in words, so to transmit that feeling that others may experience the same feeling - this is the activity of art.

#11. Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings and also experience them.

#12. Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man's emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.

#13. As, thanks to man's capacity to express thoughts by words, every man may know all that has been done for him in the realms of thought by all humanity before his day, and can in the present, thanks to this capacity to understand the thoughts of others, become a sharer in their activity and can himself hand on to his contemporaries and descendants the thoughts he has assimilated from others, as well as those which have arisen within himself; so, thanks to man's capacity to be infected with the feelings of others by means of art, all that is being lived through by his contemporaries is accessible to him, as well as the feelings experienced by men thousands of years ago, and he has also the possibility of transmitting his own feelings to others.

#14. If people lacked this capacity to receive the thoughts conceived by the men who preceded them and to pass on to others their own thoughts, men would be like wild beasts, or like Kaspar Houser.

#15. And if men lacked this other capacity of being infected by art, people might be almost more savage still, and, above all, more separated from, and more hostile to, one another.

#16. And therefore the activity of art is a most important one, as important as the activity of speech itself and as generally diffused.

#17. We are accustomed to understand art to be only what we hear and see in theaters, concerts, and exhibitions, together with buildings, statues, poems, novels. . . . But all this is but the smallest part of the art by which we communicate with each other in life. All human life is filled with works of art of every kind - from cradlesong, jest, mimicry, the ornamentation of houses, dress, and utensils, up to church services, buildings, monuments, and triumphal processions. It is all artistic activity. So that by art, in the limited sense of the word, we do not mean all human activity transmitting feelings, but only that part which we for some reason select from it and to which we attach special importance.

#18. This special importance has always been given by all men to that part of this activity which transmits feelings flowing from their religious perception, and this small part of art they have specifically called art, attaching to it the full meaning of the word.

#19. That was how man of old -- Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle - looked on art. Thus did the Hebrew prophets and the ancient Christians regard art; thus it was, and still is, understood by the Mohammedans, and thus it still is understood by religious folk among our own peasantry.

#20. Some teachers of mankind - as Plato in his Republic and people such as the primitive Christians, the strict Mohammedans, and the Buddhists -- have gone so far as to repudiate all art.

#21. People viewing art in this way (in contradiction to the prevalent view of today which regards any art as good if only it affords pleasure) considered, and consider, that art (as contrasted with speech, which need not be listened to) is so highly dangerous in its power to infect people against their wills that mankind will lose far less by banishing all art than by tolerating each and every art.

#22. Evidently such people were wrong in repudiating all art, for they denied that which cannot be denied - one of the indispensable means of communication, without which mankind could not exist. But not less wrong are the people of civilized European society of our class and day in favoring any art if it but serves beauty, i.e., gives people pleasure.

#23. Formerly people feared lest among the works of art there might chance to be some causing corruption, and they prohibited art altogether. Now they only fear lest they should be deprived of any enjoyment art can afford, and patronize any art. And I think the last error is much grosser than the first and that its consequences are far more harmful.


#24. Art, in our society, has been so perverted that not only has bad art come to be considered good, but even the very perception of what art really is has been lost. In order to be able to speak about the art of our society, it is, therefore, first of all necessary to distinguish art from counterfeit art.

#25. There is one indubitable indication distinguishing real art from its counterfeit, namely, the infectiousness of art. If a man, without exercising effort and without altering his standpoint on reading, hearing, or seeing another man's work, experiences a mental condition which unites him with that man and with other people who also partake of that work of art, then the object evoking that condition is a work of art. And however poetical, realistic, effectful, or interesting a work may be, it is not a work of art if it does not evoke that feeling (quite distinct from all other feelings) of joy and of spiritual union with another (the author) and with others (those who are also infected by it).

#26. It is true that this indication is an internal one, and that there are people who have forgotten what the action of real art is, who expect something else form art (in our society the great majority are in this state), and that therefore such people may mistake for this aesthetic feeling the feeling of diversion and a certain excitement which they receive from counterfeits of art. But though it is impossible to undeceive these people, just as it is impossible to convince a man suffering from "Daltonism" [a type of color blindness] that green is not red, yet, for all that, this indication remains perfectly definite to those whose feeling for art is neither perverted nor atrophied, and it clearly distinguishes the feeling produced by art from all other feelings.

#27. The chief peculiarity of this feeling is that the receiver of a true artistic impression is so united to the artist that he feels as if the work were his own and not someone else's - as if what it expresses were just what he had long been wishing to express. A real work of art destroys, in the consciousness of the receiver, the separation between himself and the artist - not that alone, but also between himself and all whose minds receive this work of art. In this freeing of our personality from its separation and isolation, in this uniting of it with others, lies the chief characteristic and the great attractive force of art.

#28. If a man is infected by the author's condition of soul, if he feels this emotion and this union with others, then the object which has effected this is art; but if there be no such infection, if there be not this union with the author and with others who are moved by the same work - then it is not art. And not only is infection a sure sign of art, but the degree of infectiousness is also the sole measure of excellence in art.

#29. The stronger the infection, the better is the art as art, speaking now apart from its subject matter, i.e., not considering the quality of the feelings it transmits.

#30. And the degree of the infectiousness of art depends on three conditions:

1. On the greater or lesser individuality of the feeling transmitted;
2. on the greater or lesser clearness with which the feeling is transmitted;
3. on the sincerity of the artist, i.e., on the greater or lesser force with which the artist himself feels the emotion he transmits.

#31. The more individual the feeling transmitted the more strongly does it act on the receiver; the more individual the state of soul into which he is transferred, the more pleasure does the receiver obtain, and therefore the more readily and strongly does he join in it.

#32. The clearness of expression assists infection because the receiver, who mingles in consciousness with the author, is the better satisfied the more clearly the feeling is transmitted, which, as it seems to him, he has long known and felt, and for which he has only now found expression.

#33. But most of all is the degree of infectiousness of art increased by the degree of sincerity in the artist. As soon as the spectator, hearer, or reader feels that the artist is infected by his own production, and writes, sings, or plays for himself, and not merely to act on others, this mental condition of the artist infects the receiver; and contrariwise, as soon as the spectator, reader, or hearer feels that the author is not writing, singing, or playing for his own satisfaction - does not himself feel what he wishes to express - but is doing it for him, the receiver, a resistance immediately springs up, and the most individual and the newest feelings and the cleverest technique not only fail to produce any infection but actually repel.

#34. I have mentioned three conditions of contagiousness in art, but they may be all summed up into one, the last, sincerity, i.e., that the artist should be impelled by an inner need to express his feeling. That condition includes the first; for if the artist is sincere he will express the feeling as he experienced it. And as each man is different from everyone else, his feeling will be individual for everyone else; and the more individual it is - the more the artist has drawn it from the depths of his nature - the more sympathetic and sincere will it be. And this same sincerity will impel the artist to find a clear expression of the feeling which he wishes to transmit.

#35. Therefore this third condition - sincerity - is the most important of the three. It is always complied with in peasant art, and this explains why such art always acts so powerfully; but it is a condition almost entirely absent from our upper-class art, which is continually produced by artists actuated by personal aims of covetousness or vanity.

#36. Such are the three conditions which divide art from its counterfeits, and which also decide the quality of every work of art apart from its subject matter.

#37. The absence of any one of these conditions excludes a work form the category of art and relegates it to that of art's counterfeits. If the work does not transmit the artist's peculiarity of feeling and is therefore not individual, if it is unintelligibly expressed, or if it has not proceeded from the author's inner need for expression - it is not a work of art. If all these conditions are present, even in the smallest degree, then the work, even if a weak one, is yet a work of art.

#38. The presence in various degrees of these three conditions - individuality, clearness, and sincerity - decides the merit of a work of art as art, apart from subject matter. All works of art take rank of merit according to the degree in which they fulfill the first, the second, and the third of these conditions. In one the individuality of the feeling transmitted may predominate; in another, clearness of expression; in a third, sincerity; while a fourth may have sincerity and individuality but be deficient in clearness; a fifth, individuality and clearness but less sincerity; and so forth, in all possible degrees and combinations.

#39. Thus is art divided from that which is not art, and thus is the quality of art as art decided, independently of its subject matter, i.e., apart from whether the feelings it transmits are good or bad.

#40. But how are we to define good and bad art with reference to its subject matter?


1. Tolstoy characterizes art in terms of the relationship of the observer/perceiver both to the artist and to others who perceive the work. What is the nature of that relationship?
2. He believes that art is an important condition of human life, as it is used to communicate human feelings or emotions. What are examples of this communication? Precisely how does this communication work, according to Tolstoy? What is needed for successful communication of emotions through art?
3. We communicate our feelings and emotions in ways other than art. What are examples of some of those other ways? What is unusual about the communication through art?
4. This artistic communication uses "external signs," according to Tolstoy (#11). What might be examples of these "signs." How are the "signs" used by artists different from, say, traffic signs or directional arrows in a public building? How is this "communication" with "external signs" different from "expression" with "external signs"? (#12)
5. Art is not about the production of "pleasure," Tolstoy claims. Use the "find" command on your browser (or word-processing program) to search for the passages where he refers to "pleasure." What does he seem to mean by "pleasure"? Is he consistent in these passages in his usage of "pleasure"? What does he seem so hostile to this as a way of understanding art?
6. Tolstoy lists several other proposals for understanding art that he rejects. (#12) Does his proposal seem more compelling than those he rejects? Why?
7. Tolstoy seems to accept a hierarchy in which there is "art" of everyday life and higher art imbued with religious perception (#17-18). Is this a plausible distinction? Is it consistent with distinctions you make? Does it explain the cultural importance of art?
8. Tolstoy discusses Plato's views on art (#19-23). What elements of Plato's view does he consider he? Does he agree with Plato on any of his views on art? With what does he disagree?
9. How does Tolstoy propose that we distinguish "real art" from "counterfeit art" (#24-28)? Is this a workable test? What problems do you see with it? Can you think of counter-examples that would challenge his view of how to make this distinction?
10. Tolstoy uses the test of infectiousness, not only as a descriptive measure for what should count as art, but also as a standard for good art (#28-32). What does he mean by this standard? How does he suggest we apply this test to evaluate art? Is this a useful proposal for evaluating the quality of art? If you disagree with this proposal, how would you challenge it?
11. How does "sincerity" function in Tolstoy's theory? Use the "find" command to consider all the passages where he refers to "sincerity." Is this a useful proposal for understanding and appreciating art? Can we ever be deceived about an artist's sincerity? How would Tolstoy respond to such a concern about deception?
12. Tolstoy values what he calls "peasant art" because of its sincerity (#35). Compare Tolstoy's discussion of "peasant art" with the praise by Clive Bell less than twenty years later of "primitive art" (Art, #16). Is their reasoning similar in any ways? How is it different? Do you think their praise of such art was coincidental?

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Manneke Budiman Menanggapi Esai Ahmadun YH

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

Editor note: This is a response from Manneke Budiman to "AAC Puncak Fiksi Islam", taken from mailing list Media Care.

Coba perhatikan baik-baik asesmen Ahmadun Yosi Herfanda terhadap novel AAC:

Kekuatan pertama ya judulnya, seperti yang saya jelaskan tadi. Kedua, pada keteladanan tokoh Fahri. Menurut saya, ini merupakan puncak idealisasi fenomena fiksi islam. Saat itu kan lagi fiksi Islami berkembang sebagai sebuah fenomena. Kita belum menemukan puncaknya seperti apa. Kemudian muncullah Ayat-Ayat Cinta dengan mengangkat teladan tokoh yang menarik.

Teladan tokoh ini penting bagi pembaca muda maupun pembaca perempuan dan keluarga yang memang merindukan bacaan yang mencerahkan. Fahri ini mengandung keteladaan, bisa jadi teladan perjuangan, sikap keislaman. Dan itu ternyata pas untuk kebutuhan pembaca.

Kekuatan ketiga, romantismenya. Ini novel romantis yang Islami. Jarang kisah cinta segiempat didekati secara Islami. Di novel itu kan, pergaulan mereka sangat Islami.Ternyata masyarakat kita masih terpikat atau terpesona kisah yang romantis. Yang namanya novel romantis selalu laris. Misalnya novelnya Hamka.

Kekurangan? Pendekatan sastra murni belum masuk ke sana. Nilai sastra agak kurang. Tapi sebagai novel pop yang Islami cukup kuat. Dalam pengkajian forum sastra yang akademis, novel ini dianggap novel pop saja, seperti karya La Rose dan Marga T, cuma Islami.

Sebagai novel pop yang romantis, tokohnya memang tidak beda jauh dengan dongeng, di mana yang dihadirkan tokoh impian. Ya laki-laki ideal menurut penulisnya ya seperti Fahri. Dalam realitasnya nggak ada. Namanya dongeng kan tidak membumi seperti cverita pangeran katak itu.

AMATAN SAYA: pada sisi KEUNGGULAN, Ahmadun bersifat ambigu sebab ia di satu pihak menganggap romantisme sebagai sebuah kekuatan, sambil di lain pihak mengaitkannya dengan rendahnya selera masyarakat pembaca Indonesia yang masih mudah terpikat oleh romantisme. Bahkan, romantisme ini lalu ia kategosikan sebagai kelemahan novel AAC pada sisi KEKURANGAN, karena menawarkan mimpi yang realitasnya tak ada.

Ahmadun lebih jauh bahkan menganggap karya ini tak punya nilai sastra yang tinggi, dan levelnya cuma sederajat sama deongeng, tidak membumi. Laki-laki seperti Fahri tak ada dalam dunia nyata.

PERTANYAANNYA: Bagaimana karya ini lalu dengan demikian cepat dan mudah dikatakan sebagai "Puncak Fiksi Islam"? Ini tampaknya seperti pujian, tapi sesungguhnya bisa dibaca pula sebagai pelecehan terhadap pencapaian fiksi Islami di Indonesia.

Masa Ahmadun tidak familiar dengan karya-karya Islami lain seperti buah tangan para penulis FLP (Helvy Tiana Rosa, Asma Nadia) atau Abidah El-Khalieqy? Karya-karya mereka jauh lebih kompleks dan berbobot daripada AAC. Islam yang disiarkan dalam karya-karya itu juga lebih konsisten dan setia dengan Qur'an (jika kandungan Islam dijadikan titik tolak asesmen).

Selanjutnya, KOREKSI: Tidak benar jika dikatakan para penulis dari FLP memuji-muji AAC. Asma Nadia punya kritik yang tajam dan cukup valid terhadap AAC, khususnya dalam idealisasi Fahri yang berlebihan dan tak masuk akal. Dan Asma Nadia adalah seorang dedengkot FLP!

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Ayu Utami: Ayat Ayat Cinta Pengecut

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

Film Ayat Ayat Cinta (AAC) kini telah tembus 3 juta penonton. Sebelum sukses filmnya, novel dengan judul ang sama juga laris manis. Setelah film rilis, novel AAC juga kembali diserbu pembeli.

Sayang meski laris manis, novel ini kurang mendapat apresiasi dari sastrawan atau kritikus sastra lainnya. Hanya sastrawan yang tergabung dalam Forum Lingkar Pena (FLP), tempat bernaung penulis AAC Habiburrahman El Shirazy, yang memuji-muji novel ini.

Sementara di luar FLP, jarang kritikus sastra ataupun sastrawan yang tertarik atau telah membaca novel ini. Mayoritas sastrawan dan kritikus sastra yang dihubungi detikcom mengaku belum membaca, bahkan menyatakan tidak berminat membaca AAC.

Dari sedikit sastrawan yang telah membaca karya Kang Abik, panggilan Habiburrahman adalah Ayu Utami. Apa pendapat si penulis novel fenomenal 'Saman' ini? Berikut petikan wawancara detikcom dengan Ayu Utami:

Apakah Anda sudah membaca novel atau menonton film Ayat-Ayat Cinta?
Saya sudah membaca novelnya. Tapi belum menonton filmnya.

Beberapa sastrawan dan pengamat sastra menyatakan tidak berminat membaca Ayat-Ayat Cinta. Mengapa Anda membaca novel Ayat-Ayat Cinta?
Kalau saya kan memang harus mengikuti perkembangan perbukuan. Saya bagaimana pun bergerak di bidang penulisan, saya anggota Komunitas Sastra Jakarta, saya harus sering baca sastra, saya sering menjadi juri lomba cerpen. Jadi membaca novel baru yang menjadi perbincangan wajib bagi saya. Senang atau tidak senang, saya harus membacanya.

Setelah membaca, apa kritik Anda?
Ayat-ayat Cinta itu novel Hollywood, novel yang akan membuat senang pembacanya. Cara membuat senang itu dengan memakai resep cerita pop, misalnya berita happy ending, katakan yang orang ingin dengar, jangan katakan yang tidak ingin didengar. Orang sekarang ingin mendengar petuah bijak, seperti ada sesuatu yang optimis, ada kebaikan di dunia ini.

Ayat Ayat Cinta ini, dari segi struktur cerita seperti cerita Hollywood tahun 1950-an. Bedanya, kalau Hollywood Kristen, ini Islam. Endingnya mirip, yakni agama menang. Kalau di Hollywood, misalnya, Winnetou masuk Kristen, kalau di Ayat-Ayat Cinta, yang perempuan (Maria, seorang Kristen Koptik) masuk Islam.

Samalah plotnya dengan cerita Hollywood tahun 1950. Laki-lakinya (Fahri, tokoh utama novel Ayat-Ayat Cinta) sangat jagoan, ia miskin, tapi bisa sampai Mesir dan tiba-tiba di Mesir, empat perempuan jatuh cinta semua. Hero banget, hebat dia bisa menaklukkan banyak perempuan.

Karakterisasi tokoh Fahri dalam novel itu, apakah cukup kuat untuk membuat para perempuan jatuh cinta padanya?
Kalau saya nggak tahu. Kenapa laki-laki ini bisa bikin perempuan jatuh cinta. Kalau yang Aisha (perempuan Turki yang kemudian menikah dengan Fahri) mungkinlah, karena ada konflik saat bertemu di metro, tapi bagaimana dengan tetangganya (Maria) bisa jatuh cinta habis-habisan, ini yang tidak tergarap.

Cerita novel ini sangat laki-laki, memenuhi keinginan dan impian semua laki-laki untuk dicintai banyak perempuan, yang perempuan istri pertama menyuruh dia kawin lagi. Lalu penyelesaiannya untuk kompromi simpel, perempuan yang istri kedua mati. Hollywood tahun 1950-an juga seperti itu. Kristen itu kan mengagungkan tidak menikah, jadi begitu tokoh utamanya punya pacar dimatikan. Nah di Hollywood itu tahun 1950-an, Indonesia baru tahun 2008.

Mengapa kemudian Ayat-Ayat Cinta ini sangat laris? Karena masyarakat kita masih di situ tahapnya, inginnya kisah-kisah yang hitam putih dan penuh optimisme seperti itu. Mungkin karena kita habis reformasi, lalu ada chaos, jadi kita ingin kisah yang menghibur seperti itu.

Di novel ini ada cerita tentang pindah agama, dan ini yang menjadi salah satu kontroversi. Menurut Anda, apakah cukup kuat pelukisan sehingga ada alasan pindah agamanya Maria masuk akal?
Saya nggak tahu. Buat saya nggak penting kuat atau nggak. Orang pindah agama, dalam hidup sehari-hari, banyak sekali alasannya, ada yang terancam maut, lalu pindah agama. Ada yang karena kawin lalu pindah agama. Ada yang secara revolusioner, ada yang pelan-pelan atau evolusioner.

Ada yang keberatan dengan kisah pindah agama ini diangkat ke novel yang dikonsumsi publik, karena itu menunjukkan dakwah agar masuk Islam sehingga dikhawatirkan bisa mengganggu toleransi antar umat beragama di Indonesia. Pendapat Anda?
Ini kan novel dakwah, jadi nggak apa-apa. Saya Katolik, menurut saya nggak apa-apa orang berdakwah. Memang kenapa kalau berdakwah? Kecuali penulisnya bilang, ini bukan novel dakwah. Dia mengaku ini novel dakwah, jadi sah saja.

Saya juga berdakwah, saya mendakwahkan ide-ide saya. Nggak papa ngajak masuk Islam. Kita mau ngajak masuk agama lain, nggak masalah. Namanya, rebutan pengikut agama itu biasa saja. Itu sebuah proses yang baik.

Persaingan agama itu merupakan hal yang baik, dengan adanya persaingan itu akan menghindarkan kekejaman atau represi dalam agama. Orang yang mengalami represi sebuah agama bisa pindah ke agama lain.

Kelompok yang berkeberatan dengan kisah masuk Islam ini menuding ada hegemoni soal kebenaran agama. Mereka mengandaikan bila yang sebaliknya yang dijadikan film?

Persoalan kita, negara ini kan mayoritas muslim, sebagian besar kurang berpendidikan. Saya kira melihatnya, soal kelompok garis keras menyerang kelompok non-muslim itu harus dilihat dengan kaca mata yang lebih luas. Ini bukan persoalan agama, tapi persoalan sosial politik.
Saya kira hal yang sama juga terjadi, jika mayoritas negara ini Kristen misalnya dan ada orang Islam menghujat Kristen. Jadi nggak bisa dilihat dari kaca mata agama. Harus dari sosial politik, bahwa mayoritas cenderung akan cenderung akan berperilaku nggak bener. Kita harus pandai memisahkan hal-hal yang beruhubungan antara gama dengan sosial .

Ngomong soal film ya film. Nggak usah pakai film untuk menilai persoalan lain di masyarakat. Jangan campur adukkan kacamata. Pakai kacamata yang pada tempatnya.

Soal poligami, bagaimana pandangan Anda?
Di luar novel itu, bagi saya, poligami tidak layak diteruskan. Itu sistem di masa lalu, tidak cocok untuk masa depan.

Kalau dalam novel ini, kasus poligami disikapi dengan pengecut. Dalam arti, sebagian besar perempuan tidak mau dipoligami. Bila pun ada, perempuan yang mau dipoligami itu, biasanya mereka sebagai istri kedua, ketiga, atau keempat.

Ya kita bisa lihat kasus Aa Gym, dia kehilangan pendukung begitu dia melakukan poligami. Jadi jelas sekali poligami tidak disukai perempuan. Novel ini kompromistis sekali. Ia tidak berani ekstrim, dia mengangkat wacana atau ideologi poligami, tapi lalu akhirnya buru-buru dimatikan. Dia hanya kembali ke titik yang happy ending, inilah resep cerita pop.

Apa kekuatan Ayat-Ayat Cinta sendiri sehingga bisa laris?
Judulnya kuat, ini mengingatkan pada Ayat-Ayat Setan, atau lagu Laskar Cinta. Kemudian enak dibaca, dia punya keterampilan menulis. Tapi saya kira kekuatan Ayat-Ayat Cinta ini adalah kemampuannya untuk menyenangkan, untuk mengonfirmasi apa yang dipercaya kebanyakan orang. Mental masyarakat itu merindukan orang untuk masuk ke agamanya, kita senang bila ada yang masuk agama kita. Di sini, masuk Islam, di Hollywood masuk Kristen.

Soal beberapa kalangan yang berpendapat Ayat-Ayat Cinta ini bukanlah sastra?
Tahun 1920-an sampai belakangan ini, saya kira batas sastra pop dan serius tidak ada lagi. Batasnya tidak terlalu ketat. Sebuah karya novel, apa pun itu adalah kerajinan kata-kata. Tidak perlu dia ditempatkan sebagai sastra atau tidak.

Apa kelemahan Ayat-Ayat Cinta?
Paling lemah, kalau menurut saya, adalah nafsunya pada kebenaran. Begitu bernafsu untuk menunjukkan kebenaran. Tapi dia mengakui ini novel dakwah, jadi nggak masalah.
Tapi bagi saya, kalau sastrawan bernafsu untuk menyampaikan kebenaran itu tidak menarik. Sastra bukan untuk alat berdakwah, tapi untuk mempergulatkan nilai-nilai. Sastra itu selalu menghargai membuka persoalan. Bukan berakhir dengan kata amin seperti bila kita berada di masjid atau di gereja.(

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Buku Laris dan Fenomena Ayat-ayat Cinta

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

by Prie GS, published at Republika, Dec 17 2006.

Ayat Ayat Cinta, sebuah novel pembangun jiwa, sekarang telah menjadi fenomena. Benarkah?Saya tertarik untuk mengujinya. Tidak perlu dengan penelitian ilmiah. Tapi dengan hukum dagang bakulan yang sederhana saja.Awal Maret lalu. Dalam sebuah kesempatan diskusi di Semarang, manajer Penerbit Republika bercerita pada saya. Katanya, sejak kemunculannya di bulan Desember 2004, novel Ayat Ayat Cinta telah terjual 80 ribu eksemplar. Dan angka itu, lanjutnya, masih mungkin terus merangkak naik. Saya takjub mendengarnya. Sebab, selama 15 bulan beredar (terhitung sejak Desember 2004 hingga Februari 2006 - ed), novel itu berarti telah terjual kira-kira 5300-an eksemplar tiap bulannya. Angka yang fantastik untuk penjualan buku di Indonesia. Apalagi jenis sastra. Dan tebal pula. Itu berita kemarin. Berbulan lalu.
Berita terkini lebih menakjubkan lagi. Sebab, ketika tulisan ini saya buat, saya baru saja mendapat berita dari kolega Jakarta saya yang lain. Katanya, per bulan Juni, penjualan Ayat Ayat Cinta telah menembus angka 120 ribu. Dan per bulan Agustus telah merangkak hingga angka 150 ribu. Itu artinya, selama 21 bulan mengorbit (sejak Desember 2004 hingga Agustus 2006 - ed), novel itu terjual rata-rata sebanyak 7142-an eksemplar per bulannya. Betul-betul angka yang susah disebut biasa untuk dunia perbukuan Indonesia. Apapun jenis bukunya.

Angka penjualan yang fantastis itu, sempat menggoda saya untuk mengalkulasi berapa nilai nominal rupiah yang kira-kira diperoleh penulisnya. Dengan perhitungan lazim royalti seorang penulis di Indonesia, yakni 10 persen dari harga bandrol, maka angka yang dihasilkan Ayat Ayat Cinta pun semakin menggoda saya. Mari kita hitung bersama-sama!
Jika harga novel setebal 410-an halaman itu sebesar Rp 43.500, maka penulisnya memperoleh royalti Rp 4.350 per bukunya. Dan, jika bukunya itu telah terjual sebanyak 150 ribu eksemplar, maka tinggal kalikan saja. Hasilnya Rp 652.500.000 (enam ratus limapuluh dua juta limaratus ribu rupiah). Angka yang fantastis: setengah miliar rupiah lebih! Maka siapa pun Anda yang berniat menjadi penulis profesional, bidang sastra ataupun bukan, berbahagialah. Ternyata penulis itu bisa kaya.

Dengan penjelasan sederhana seperti itu, tidak aneh jika novel itu disebut fenomenal, hingga majalah nasional sekualitas Tempo pun, 'terpaksa' harus mengeksposnya. Sengaja saya sebut terpaksa dengan tanda kutip, karena saya tahu betul, majalah 'jurnalisme sastrawi' seangker Tempo takkan serampangan menampilkan ulasan buku sastra berikut penulisnya, jika ia tidak istimewa. Apalagi sampai memampang foto penulisnya segala. Dan, lebih tidak aneh lagi, jika novel itu pada akhirnya dilirik oleh rumah produksi, yang memang berwatak haus industri dan kapital materi.

Ayat Ayat Cinta telah fenomenal. Tempo pun telah mengakuinya. Siapakah penulis yang disebut Tempo dengan Pengarang Semarang itu? Pengarang Semarang itu ternyata bukanlah siapa-siapa. Publik Semarang pun bahkan sama sekali tidak mengenalnya. Tak kecuali saya. Itu dulu ketika novel itu belum mengemuka. Jika akhirnya saya mengenalnya, itu pun karena dikenalkan adiknya, Anif Sirsaeba. Ketika saya mementori ilmu jurnalistik untuk para aktivis mahasiswa se-Jawa Tengah, Anif Sirsaeba ini adalah murid terbaik saya.

Si Anif ini mengenalkan kakaknya ke rumah saya dengan membawa novel Ayat Ayat Cinta. Saat itu masih cetakan pertama, belum booming. Kepada saya, dia meminta pendapat mengenai novel kakaknya itu, kuratorial. Katanya, untuk perbaikan-perbaikan karya dan edisi berikutnya. ''Seminggu lagi saya telpon ke Panjenengan, Mas,'' daulat si Anif pada saya mengakhiri pembicaraan. Saya tak tega menolaknya. Benar. Seminggu kemudian dia menelpon saya.

"Gimana, Mas, komentarnya?" katanya."Kangmasmu itu HAMKA kecil, Nif. Sebentar lagi pasti booming novelnya. Tinggal nunggu waktu saja. Kapan-kapan kita ngobrol banyak," jawab saya. Setelah itu, si Anif dan kakaknya makin sering dolan ke rumah saya. Kami intens bertemu. Dari intensitas pertemuan kami itulah, akhirnya saya lebih mengenal siapa sebenarnya pengarang Semarang yang menarik perhatian Tempo. Orangnya tak banyak bicara, santun, penuh dedikasi, dan dalam ilmu agamanya. Ia tak jauh beda dengan karakter Fahri bin Abdullah Shiddiq yang ia tulis dalam novelnya. Begitulah cerita perkenalan saya dengan penulis Ayat Ayat Cinta, Habiburrahman El Shirazy.

Membicarakan buku-buku laris di Indonesia, bertahun lalu sebelum Ayat Ayat Cinta menggelinding ke publik, saya punya beberapa refleksi pribadional yang menarik untuk saya kaitkan dengan fenomena Ayat Ayat Cinta.Saya pernah membaca Saman. Bertahun lalu.Saman, novel karya Ayu Utami adalah novel laris yang terlambat saya beli. Untung, seorang pengarang terkenal Indonesia mengirimkannya pada saya setelah ia mendapat kiriman buku itu dari koleganya. ''Saya tidak kuat membacanya,'' katanya.
Anehnya, hal serupa juga terjadi dengan Supernova, novel 'eksperimental' karya Dewi 'Dee' Lestari. Yang ini dikirim oleh mahasiswa yang mengaku membeli buku ini karena mode, takut dianggap ketinggalan jaman. ''Tapi saya bingung, tidak paham apa maunya,'' katanya.

Pengalaman ketiga masih datang dari mahasiswa, seorang yang ketika saya memberi pelatihan jurnalistik di kampusnya bertahun lalu, dia menjadi salah satu peserta. Anak muda inilah yang belum lama berselang mengantarkan buku ke rumah, dua buah buku jenis self motivation yang dia tulis sendiri. Buku itu telah menjadi dua seri karena laris. Seri pertama, telah mengalami beberapa kali cetak ulang dan laku mendekati angka 30 ribu. Ayu Utami, dalam kesempatan berdiskusi bersama mengatakan, bahwa saat itu Saman telah terjual lebih dari 50 ribu.

Dari tiga fakta itu saja ada pola yang bisa diidentifikasi. Pertama, adalah penulis terkenal yang baru sekali menulis novel langsung laris. Kedua, ada penyanyi terkenal, tapi bukan penulis, sekali menulis buku juga laris. Ketiga, bukan nama terkenal, bukan pula penulis, sekali menulis buku juga laris. Artinya, saat ini, siapapun Anda, penulis atau bukan, boleh dan bisa menghasilkan buku laris.

Soal yang lain adalah kasus buku Jakarta Under Cover tulisan Moammar Emka, seorang wartawan hiburan. Buku yang pernah jadi perbincangan ramai ini semula adalah buku yang sempat ditolak penerbit besar. Dan ia menjadi laris justru di tangan penerbit kecil saja, Galang Press. Maka, siapapun Anda, penerbit kecil atau besar, penerbit lama atau baru, berkesempatan mencetak buku best seller.

Pola yang lain ialah, betapa siklus kemunculan buku-buku laris itu kini relatif pendek saja. Seperti Hollywood yang selalu melahirkan film-film box office dengan jarak waktu yang relatif cepat. Ini artinya, pasar buku Indonesia telah bergerak menjadi industri yang jelas arahnya. Meskipun pasar ini belum sepenuhnya stabil. Adanya kasus pembeli buku laris yang tidak membaca buku yang dibelinya itu adalah indikasi, bahwa pasar Indonesia masih ditandai watak snobbish, ada jenis pembeli buku yang lebih untuk sebuah gaya hidup.

Hal semacam ini harus diterima dengan rendah hati. Karena, memang begitulah watak pasar transisi. Tapi dari gaya hidup itulah pasar buku akan menjadi kebutuhan hidup. Era membaca menjadi kebutuhan, memang, sesuatu yang sedang kita usahakan, dan baru sekarang usaha itu menunjukkan tanda-tanda keberhasilan.

Refleksi pribadional saya di atas, tentu berkelindan dengan kasus fenomena Ayat Ayat Cinta. Ia setidaknya melahirkan pertanyaan, apakah fenomena itu merupakan bagian dari snobisme pasar buku Indonesia? Jawabnya: untuk sekarang, pasti. Ia memenuhi watak snobbish pasar transisi Indonesia yang menempatkannya sebagai gaya hidup. Namun, untuk ke depan, belum tentu. Jika dilihat dari isi dan reaksi pembacanya, saya optimis bahwa Ayat Ayat Cinta akan menjadi 'legenda sastra santri' tersendiri. Tak jauh berbeda dengan karya HAMKA, Tenggelamnya Kapal Van Der Wijck. Bahkan bisa lebih. Kita lihat saja nanti.

Sumber: Republika

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Online furniture stores

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

Furniture From Home has various furniture products for your home decoration. Search by category to find what you need, for instance search by room, by style or by color. Let see the collection on Living Room Furniture: sofas couches sectionals microfiber upholstery leather sets. Available in some model and styles, and also with various prices just find which one fit to your needs. Image on the left side is item number 1428. See the detail information of this antique sofa.

All Leather sofa, featuring a top quality leather with the benefit of protection. Subtle frame shaping, tightly upholstered back, accent woodtrim and nailhead deatils offer style and comfort to any home environment.

Don't forget to see a lot of beautiful collection on Storage Beds, Captain Beds and Pedestal Beds are beds with storage drawers and space-saver function. Available the most complete collection of quality storage & captains beds on the internet.

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Wilders film ‘Fitna’ in Nederland and Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’ play in Potsdam

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

After Geert Wilders released an anti-Islam film "Fitna" criticizing Islam and its holy book the Koran on Thursday, Muslims are again upset at Satanic Verses play in German.

A forthcoming stage play in German to be based on the controversial novel, The Satanic Verses by Indian-born author Salman Rushdie, is a “provocation,” a Muslim leader in Germany warned.

The stage adaptation is to premiere on Sunday, March 29, 2008, at the Hans Otto Theatre, known by the acronym HOT, in the city of Potsdam, south-west of Berlin. The script is by two Germans, Uwe Eric Laufenberg and Marcus Mislin, and is based on Rushdie’s 1988 novel. Police in the city said there had been no threat to the theatre, but they would guard it on Sunday as a precaution. Germany’s various Muslim groups have differed in their reactions with one group, the Central Council of Muslims, calling for calm.”

Read more this article complete with pictures at

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Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

When you are facing criminal charges, you need Criminal Defense Attorneys Los Angeles | California Criminal DUI Lawyers to solve your legal problems. The team will take your case quickly and confidently, who will go the extra mile to thoroughly investigate your case, and who get the best possible result in or out of court.

The team will approach to issues involving law enforcement and prosecutors. If a case reaches the sentencing stage, they look for creative approaches to sentencing. They will also try to find the better ways to mitigate sentencing and avoid incarceration, often by emphasizing rehabilitation. Learn more about Criminal Defense Attorneys Los Angeles | California Criminal DUI Lawyers

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Fitna is really bad film

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fitna, an anti-Islam film by Dutch politician Geerth Wilders has provoked a racial sentiment to moslem around the world. In this film, Wilders want to show that Qur'an has threatened democracy. The release of a controversial anti-Islam film on March 28, had been expected to cause turmoil among Muslims in the Netherlands and abroad.

Indonesian religious leaders rejected that film to be featured in Indonesia, saying it was offensive to Muslims. A section of Muslims in Mumbai also has asked the Government to ban the controversial film.

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has called on Muslims around the world to boycott Dutch products. However many Muslim countries reacted more calmly to the film.

The refusal to Fitna not only comes from moslem country, but also from international community. This is very ironic when Wilders said that he was threatened by radical moslem and imigrants in his country, but at the same time he provoke moslem with racial issues. He speak on the name "democracy", in fact he has threatened the true democration.

This film was really really bad. The basic fundamental is that no religion of the world neither promote terrorism nor hatred. This film show how the author did not understand or have failed to understand with right spirit.

Last but not least, moslem around the world do not need to do any anarchies in respond to this issue. Voltaire, French philosopher said "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it".

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Songs of Innocence: The Chimney Sweeper

Written by eastern writer on Thursday, March 27, 2008

by William Blake

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved: so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

And so he was quiet; and that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight, -
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black.

And by came an angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins and set them all free;
Then down a green plain leaping, laughing, they run,
And wash in a river, and shine in the sun.

Then naked and white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind;
And the angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father, and never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags and our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm;
So if all do their duty they need not fear harm.

Read Analysis of The Chimney Sweeper
originally taken from

Unlike the one in Songs of Innocence, "The Chimney Sweeper", in Songs of Experience is very dark and pessimistic. This poem also seems to be very judgmental and gives motives for everything, but unlike Song of Innocence, the sweeper in this poem does not free himself from his misery.

In the first two lines, Blake gives us an image of an anguished child in a state of agony or even in a state of corruption. The color black seems to be very important because it is used to represent sin against innocence, the color of the white snow. Blake also shows the same child weeping, when he really means to say sweeping, because that is what has that child in such grief. This stanza ends by someone asking him about his parents, which later end up being responsible for this child’s state.

In the second stanza, the child is pictured in a very more happier and playful mood. This soon changes when he decides to tell the stranger more about his parents. They are showed to be punishing their child for being so happy by "clothing in clothes of death and teaching him to sing notes of woe." It is very obvious the sweeper’s feels hate towards his parents for putting him in such sadness, but instead he chooses to hide it by making himself look happy and satisfied.

It is clear in the last Stanza that Blake’s criticizing the Church , especially, and the state for letting a lot of these things happen. During this time many children were dying from being, either, worked to death or from malnutrition. Neither the state or the church did anything to stop this and is obviously why Blake feels so much anger towards them. The sweeper’s parents are really no help towards their own child. This makes the reader wonder, if they are worshipping god, the source of good doings, why do they chose to ignore their own child. They would rather turn their heads the other way and instead findlove at church.

I think this is a very striking poem. It clearly shows Blake’s anger towards society at this time. I also think that he used many of his poems to make people aware of the suffering of people at this time. I also think That he wrote two separate books to give a fuller effect. Songs of Innocence, I think was how people thought that everything was okay. Songs of Experience, in my opinion was to open every ones eyes.

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Fixed Rate Mortgage

Written by eastern writer on Thursday, March 27, 2008

Each year the adjusted calculation for actual cost-of-living tends to rise. People are getting problem with their financial condition. Life today become harder and harder. You may have a plan to open a new business this year, but you should cancel your plans because you haven't enough money.

In this condition, people usually will borrow some money from the mortgage lenders. But, you have to be more selective to find the best ones which offer you with the best interest rates so that you wont get a new problem in the next days.

The amount of interest is generally around 2%. The next interest will increase in order to maintain the margin of profit. You may consider to find mortagage which offer Fixed Interest Rates. With this type of mortgage, the interest rate is usually fixed for a limited amount of time. The advantage to the borrower is that the mortgage repayments are known or fixed, and there will be no unpleasant or even pleasant surprises.

Learn more about Fixed Rate Mortgage

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Goenawan Mohamad: On God and Other Unfinished Things

Written by eastern writer on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This is the newest book by Goenawan Mohamad, a leading Indonesian poet and Indonesian intellectual, former Tempo's chief editor and also the founder of the Indonesian legendary magazine (Tempo=Times, Goenawan named his magazine inspired by that American magazine, Times). This book content with 99 essays that departed from the aphorism, followed the tracks of the Sprinkling of the Contemplation of the Roestam Effendi work in the 1930 's. His contents generally is the moments exploration religious, the poetic experience, also meditation about the Lord, faith, the death and the authority.

On God and Other Unfinished Things previously published in Indonesian language edition entitled "Tuhan dan Hal-hal yang tak selesai". The English edition translated by Laksmi Pamuntjak.

Some people said that the book is another form of "Catatan Pinggir" (a weekly Goenawan' essay in Tempo). Some give a positive appreciation, and some response in negative tones that this book only to show the writers intellectually. Whatever people say, Goenawan, an Indonesian poet who have started his career since 60s and keep writing poems up to this recent days (which has emerges a lot of GM' epigons, will (always) be one of the greatest Indonesian Poet.

Bayu has posted on his blog, reviewing this book. To read the review, visit

I was feel alienated when came to community that I visited several times at the past. Last night at Freedom Institute-Jakarta, the newest book of Goenawan Mohamad (a.k.a. GM) –the founder of Tempo and one of Indonesian journalist living legend- was launch. Present as speakers were Rev. Martin Lukito Sinaga and K.H. Husein Muhammad. As I observed, guest whose came divided into: GM’s inner circles, peoples who their work and daily life connected to GM including press, peoples who like party and ‘food free to eat’ like students, and peoples like me: who confused to categorized themselves.

However, confusion was not my monopoly that night, because many guests whose came looks shocked when they read this unique book. This book is compilation of 99 short fragments which named book, titled with weird like some philosophical book: On God & Other Unfinished Things. Read this book, I remember Nietzsche’s work which used fragment broadly, even longer. This model is shortcut for ‘peoples who have many ideas’ which often that idea came by co-incidentally fast that needs to write down immediately before it pass away. It is logic, if fragment chosen as the best way to extract idea. Because of that, never fall into confusion if you don’t find chapter number, changed with fragment although it not mean as a row. Never think you can read this book regularly like complete book from the first page until the last page. I was open any page randomly and a-ha!, I got the same sensation. Every fragment was separate but still related each other. Readers have no obligation to read until finish then. Only one thing clear, this book explained about searching process of one wayfarer about meaning of life. And life in the par excellence form is God.

The author seemed to show off his knowledge about world horizon. Likely he already discovery every valley, climb every mountain, dive In under every ocean, for write off this book. The never ending style since the era he wrote on Catatan Pinggir (means Side Note, name of his column) at Tempo magazine before it was banned. At his brief GM acknowledge also there are some parts of his book came from his legendary column. For readers who have limitation about religion horizon, this book could shake your faith. Although it not put bright blurp on it’s cover like Da Vinci Code was.

He took splash stories from far lands: Illiad which tell about Troy (38), al-Mutawakkil Baghdad caliph (41), 1001-Night Tales by Shahrazad (11), Sultan Akbar from India (21), Musa (23, 26,27,28,30), Yesus (24), Sophocles and Mahabharata (39), Serat Cabolek from Java (52), Ratu Kidul from Java also (67), Yosua (88), Sherlock Holmes and Andersen (56), Cervantez’ Don Quixote (81), until Mel Gibson’ Passion of The Christ (24) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’ Babel. GM also rowing many great names –including from Indonesia history-: Sunan Kalijaga (1), Sitor Situmorang (2), Rilke (3,60), Omar Khayam (4), Subagio Sastrowardoyo (4,62), Chairil Anwar (4,16,32), Derrida (6,61,96), Holderlin (7), Amir Hamzah (8,21,40), Ibn Rushd (8, 22), Ibn Sina (8), Al-Ghazali (8,31,76), Buddha (9,28), Shakespeare (9), Karl Barth (13), Tagore and Adorno (15), William James, Roland Barthes (16), Tahar Djaout (17), Alan Badiou (22, 54), Simone Weil (21), Nietzsche (26,74,84), Lyotard (27), Muhammad (28,30), Santo Agustinus and Rudolf Otto (28), Boris Pasternak (33), Pramoedya Ananta Toer (33,53), Brecht (36,83), Noah (40), Al-Tabari (40), Goebbels dan Hitler (42,56), Claude Lefort (48), Baudrillard (49), Rene Girard (50), Lacan (51,54), Descartes (52), Neruda and Walter Benjamin (53), Foucault (54), Karl Marx (54), Sayyed Qutb (55), Gadamer (55), Heidegger (29,42,52,61,67), Ilya Ehrenburg (53), Albert Camus (57), Asmuni (58), Dao and Ranggawarsita (59), Levinas (61,85), Heraklitus (62), Vico (62), Marcel Proust (63), Cokot, Duchamp and Jean Tinguely (64), Husserl, Basho, Matisse, Jean-Luc Marion, Rusli, John Cage (65), Kafka (66), Abraham (68,79), Kierkegaard (68), Allen Ginsberg (70), W.H. Auden, Ibn Arabi dan Herodes (71), Naoki Sakai, Ito Jinsai and Kong Hu Cu (73), Angelus Silesius (74), Signorelli and Michelangelo (78), Roberto Calasso (79), George Steiner (80), Dylan Thomas (82), Fukuyama (84), Iqbal (85), Joan Copjec (86), Nelson Mandela (87), Derek Walcott and Sukarno (92), Rachel Bespaloff (93), Marion (95), Groucho Marx and Franz Fanon (96), dan Habermas and Mother Sud (99).

I feel strange, from that many names which like worker who like to put ther presence card on the machine, GM not mention many names of God as they are same each other. He put God concept from any ages and cultures as simply as “God” word only. As simple as that. Just like what he hope from his book reader not to think too hard and look into his writing as simple as look at many stars which became the mystery of night sky. Then, this book maybe as manifestation of question about God which shadowing author’s mind for years. The thing that could happen to other wayfarer also.

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Digital Poem, electronic literature

Written by eastern writer on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Electronic literature (also known as digital literature) has been introduced on the net in some recent years, but this topic haven't been widely discussed by literary academician in a lot of Indonesian universities. This digital literary works actually can be a nice topic for them to make it in a specific discourse.

Siswo Harsono, one of lecturer in English Department Faculty of Letters, Diponegoro University, has initiated to provide a specific discussion on that digital literature. Previously, he also has introduced lakonet, a traditional Javanese play on the net. This is a good starting point to promote Indonesian Literature to readers on the world web and also provide it with a literary study for the digital works.

I've tried to make a little research on this digital literary works on the net. I found many digital poems has been uploaded to this open source site. That's very interesting. How a poem is presenting to its readers on the net, with digital text, sound, and also supported by graphic or multimedia. For literary academician, this digital poem challenge them to find a new criticism, how to give an appreciation to the digital poem. Lets see these following digital poems.

Winter by William Shakespeare digital poem

Digital poem interpreting the theme for winter. done in ms. garcia's 9th grade english class. created by nathaly gonzales, alexandra vinalay, arthur macapagal, and yvette yeager

Forever Trespass, a digital poem

"Forever Trespass" is a digital poem exploring the question, "Does the poem own the poet or the poet own poem?" The sound art for this piece was constructed from the 2D (2 directional) poem, "Forever Trespass". The "normal" voice is reading the poem vertically (down the columns) and the "harmonized" voice is reading the same poem horizontally (across the rows). The video was made by animating my photographs and digital art and integrating it with the original sound art.

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Refinance your mortgage

Written by eastern writer on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do you need money to pay your bill or to open a new business? Apply now at, there's a special promo till this end of March. Very easy application, fill your form then you'll be ready to find what you need, such as home loans, home refinance, mortgage refinance, or looking for debt consolidation.

If you want any advice on how much you can and should borrow, you can simply use refinance calculator. This calculator will look at the affordability question from a point of view designed to show you the highest loan amount for which you can qualify based upon your income as entered into it.

Adjustable rate mortgages offer the consumer the choice of gaining a lower payment for the beginning years of their mortgage loan in exchange for accepting a mortgage program which has a formula by which your interest rate will be adjusted periodically. Learn more at

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Penjualan VCD Bajakan Film Ayat Ayat Cinta Menjamur

Written by eastern writer on Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Film Ayat Ayat Cinta (AAC) yang sedang laris manis menjadi korban pembajakan. Bahkan penjualan bajakan film yang penontonnya kini mencapai 3 juta itu sangat menjamur.

Film besutan Hanung Bramantyo itu bisa dengan mudah ditemui di tempat-tempat yang biasa digunakan untuk berjualan VCD bajakan. Di terminal, di mall dan di pasar, film laris itu dijajakan.

Minggu (23/3/2008) misalnya, film bajakan AAC memenuhi lapak-lapak penjualan DVD/VCD bajakan di terminal Lebak Bulus. Dibandingkan bajakan lainnya, jumlah bajakan AAC ini bahkan mencapai hampir sepertiganya.

Di terminal ini, bajakan AAC dijual dengan harga Rp 10 ribu. Banyak orang yang lewat terminal yang membeli bajakan ini.

Sementara di Cinere Mall, bajakan AAC dijual dengan harga Rp 15 ribu. Padahal bajakan biasanya dijual dengan harga Rp 8 ribu. Harga jual bajakan ini sama dengan tiket nonton bioskop di Cinere 21 mall.

"Ini kan dua keping VCD, jadi lebih mahal. Lagian banyak yang nyari," jelas si penjual. (

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Movie for a young poet: Il Postino

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 23, 2008

I have been watching movie which tell about how the great author write. Capote is one of my favorite movie. watching movie, sometimes give us another enjoyment. For you who are now learning to be a writer, I think, sometimes you need to play movie, especially when you are getting bored after reading a lot of thick books. If you are now trying to write poem, Il Postino. Il Postino portrays the story of a shy postman who develops a transformative friendship with the exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

This movie talked much about the meaning of metaphore. Neruda makes a poetry about the sea and the island and Mario, the postman, says the poetry makes him feel like a boat beating the word of the poetry. Neruda says he just made a metaphore. Mario concludes that the world is a metaphore to everything else. Neruda then becomes s speechless. Wow... this is really really great movie...

To get more information and critics about this films, these links may will help you:

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Great Song and Lyrics: The Blower's Daughter by Damien Rice

Written by eastern writer on Sunday, March 23, 2008

This is the greatest love song. I am speechless when hearing this song. I was hearing this song at the first time in Closer, one of my favorite movie. I conclude that love finally seeking for "body" as a "final gift" for the one people love. But, if I or you can give our body or fucking another body, why at the same time we can't accept when she/he we loved also do the same, give his/her body to another. Do you have any reasons for this?

This is the song lyrics:

And so it is
Just like you said it would be
Life goes easy on me
Most of the time
And so it is
The shorter story
No love, no glory
No hero in her sky

I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

And so it is
Just like you said it should be
We'll both forget the breeze
Most of the time
And so it is
The colder water
The blower's daughter
The pupil in denial

I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

Did I say that I loathe you?
Did I say that I want to
Leave it all behind?

I can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind...
My mind...
'Til I find somebody new

Wanna play this song, here is the song accord

And so it is
Just like you said it would be
Life goes easy on me
As E
Most of the time

And so it is
The shorter story
No love, no glory
No hero in her sky

I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
As Bs
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

As, Bs, E

And so it is
E As
Just like you said it should be
As Bs
We'll both forget the breeze
As E
Most of the time

And so it is
E As
The colder water
As Bs
The blower's daughter
The pupil in denial

I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
As Bs
I can't take my eyes off you
As (slide to Bs)
I can't take my eyes...

F# B.Lala
Did I say that I loathe you?
Did I say that I want to
C# D#m
Leave it all behind?

I can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind off you
B C#
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind...
My mind...

'Til I find somebody new

I've searched for the mp3, but we have to pay to download the song. I get in mp4 format. This is free to download. here is the link: Damien Rice - The Blower's Daughter.mp4 (19.1 MB).
I've made a review for this cool film in Bahasa Indonesia. Read my review "Closer: Cinta yang meminta pemenuhan"


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Sang Hyang Segara Rekayasa

Written by eastern writer on Friday, March 21, 2008

My worship is for God only Universe creator and all its I adore all of the great poets To whom worship God only

ASTINA.—The leaders of Kurawa together with General Baladewa, the President of Mandura, discuss national catastrophe.

DURYUDANA: All distinguished leaders! As though those tsunamy ocean, extraodinary raining season, rainstorm, flooding, they would sink the earth, bacoming global catastrophe. Is it also happening in Mandura?

BALADEWA: Yes—exactly! Even many areas have been flooded by tsunamy of the ocean.

KARNA: It happens in the Propince of Awangga, too! Fishermen have been the victims! Marine tourism dies! It ruins here and there.

DURYUDANA: What's actually the cause of this catastrophe? How can we overcome it?

SAKUNI: Excuse me, Sir! Prehaps Prof Durna has an authentic thinking and a sophisticated problem solving strategy.

DURYUDANA: OK, Prof Dur—go to the podium, please.

DURNA: Nah, hahaha… thanks! A great expert needn't boasting in the podium! Suporting form behind! Nah, hahaha… you see my dear Kurawa—these do not only happen in Astina, Mandura, Awangga that fall into catastrope, but also happens in Bangladesh. More horrible! Nah, theoretically—there are cause and effect! Such a catastrophic effect is caused by an impact. Tsunamic ocean, rainstorm, flood, and even the icebergs in both polars of the earth have been melting—those all are caused by human deeds that do not care environmental life. Irresponsible ocnum!

BALADEWA: Krrk-phew! Bastard ocnum! Who is s/he, Prof?

DURNA: According to my research, that's caused by Antasena's exsperiment in the abyss of an ocean.

BALADEWA: Krrk-phew! Son of a bitch, Antasena!

KARNA: What does he want?

DURNA: For he is an admiral of Amarta, he has a political purpose. For the sake of Pandawa national power! He wants to be the authority of ocean and calls himself Sang Hyang Segara Rekayasa.

BALADEWA: What? Sang Hyang? Krrk-phew! Crazy! How insane Antasena is! Does such a title exist in holy book, Prof?

DURNA: Ah, No! I've read all bibliographies. The libraries of Sokalima University and Atasangin University I've researched. Either in ancient books such as Tantu Panggelaran, Kitab Manik Maya, Kitab Paramayoga, Kitab Kanda, Kitab Sudamala, Kitab Nawaruci, Kitab Gatutkacasraya, Mahabarata, Ramayana, or the modern ones—there is no Sang Hyang Segara Rekayasa. Sang Hyang the forger! Holy falacy!

DURYUDANA: All right, make theexperiment fail, catch and justify him!

SAKUNI: How if Amarta protects him?


“Good! Great! Acc!” + “Okay!” + “W-well!” + “OK!” + “Long Live Kurawa!” + “Long
live! Long live! Long live!"

BALADEWA: Krrk-phew! Percisely!

DURYUDANA: Al right, General Baladewa—lead the multinational troops. And Let. Gen Karna should lead the Paracommando troops of Astina.


KARNA: Yes, Sir!

“The Paracommandos of Ocean Operation—attention! Dursasana, Dursala, Dursata, Durmuka, Durkarna, Duradara, Durwigata, Durmagati, Kartamarma, Kartipeya, Citragada, Citramarma, Citrakandala, Citrayuda, Citraksa, Citraksi, Adityaketu, Bimabahu, Dirgabahu, Dirgalacana, Dirgarama, Dredarata, Drepasastra, Drestahasta, Drepayuda Drepawarman—ready to move!”

“March forward!”
“Yes, Sir!”

In the ocean war Kurawa
Is ready to attack Antasena

DASAR SAMUDRA.—Teritorial zone of Amarta.

“Krrk-phew! Bastard mine!”
“Look out the submarine!”

ANTASENA: Hmh, Kurawa—never think you can make Amarta defense ruin. Submarine of Antaboga the masterpiece engineering of Prof Dr Antaboga is very sophisticated. I'm Sang Hyang Segara Rekayasa doing an exsperiment in the Oceanoculture Sea-Lab for the future of Amartan nation. Whoever can't go into this Sea-Lab.

The earth quakes
The ocean storms

TUMARITIS.—In the earthly hollow-sorrow, Panakawan is joking.

“Excuse me, I’m Petruk Swayze. Dear Readres—how are you today? Fine? OK, so am I. Hehehe… in its story it's raining: wet, leaky, muddy! Ehm… Yun, Ren, Sis—what are you doing? Keep on showing off! When will you showw off in Matahari again? Alter! Go to campus please, hehehe… what about Wayang Kampus? Happy-dumpty! It's said: activist! Be scientific please, hehehe… not arty ah!”
“Talking to whom, Truk?”
“To my fans, of course!”
“Huh, pretending to be top n pop!”
“Hehehe… of coz! Eh, where's Gareng? Bang, Gareng Mbeling has been made yet?
Hurry up, it'll be played! I'll have a show—not only Bagong which is in action.
“U're sentiment to me, Truk!”
“I'm! Nah, that's Gareng! Come
here, Reng! Where’re ye from?”
“Show-biz!” + “Show off!”
“Zow, you know?
Not like u: show off. No sale!”
“Fuck u! I made an observation there to investigate the attitude of the consumerism culture to anticipate next business. It's enjoying!”
“O rather Bagong the urban!”
“Stop! Mr Jun is coming here!”

ARJUNA: Kang Semar—we should look for Admiral Antasena. So long he has not reported his job to Amarta.

SEMAR: All right, Sir.

Arjuna and Panakawan
Pass through the jungle

“E-e-babo-babo… Gog—there's a j-jungle p-passer c-comes t-to Pringgadinga-cala.
W-who's he, Gog?"
“Ssh! General Arjuna!”
“E-e-babo-babo… a-attack!”—(Whoosh!)—“C-ciaat!”—(Clunk! Thwack! Dig! Clunk)—“Hugk-khoeekh uhuooo… m-me d-dead, Gog!”—(Crash!)
“Cakil died, Lung!”
“Neven mind, Gog!”
“Grr-babo-babo, the deuce! Face me Dityakala Badaisegara! Hey, bro: Pragalba, Rambut Geni, Padas Gempal, Jurangrawah, Buta Ijo, Buta Terong, Buta
Endog—let's mob the devil officer!”
“C’mon!” + “OK!” + “Move!”
“One, two, three! Ciat! Ciat! Ciiaatt!”—(Boom!)—“Ouch! Ahk! Khk! Klk!”—(Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!)
“O Lord! All died!” + “All light! Let's go, Bro!”
“Who are u? O yez! It'z me Mr George! Yez, Mr Joz!”
“Wow! How cool the Buta's name—using a pop name! U loose, Reng.”
“Em… who are u, double Dutch?”
“Mistel Gabliel! Let's go ah! Nevel cale such a scloundle!”—(Thwack! Clunk! Dig!)—“Ouch! U beat me till bluised! Ef u wanna make wal, be spoltive! Caleless u!”
(Bang-bang!)—“Finish, Gong!”

All mal-giants
Died quickly

The teller tells
The tall tale

OCEANOCULTURE SEA-LAB.—Admiral Antasena called Sang Hyang Segara Rekayasa makes the world riotious because of his invention of Abyss Ocean Defense System, and his Oceanomigration can solve the demography of the world in the future by creating Seascrapper Buildings. Such a phantastic exsperiment causes pro and contra all over the world. There's no mystic-magic if Girinata, the President of Sorgaloka, comes down to earth.

GIRINATA: O the World of Divas! Antasena—stop thy exsperiment! Don't go after the God's will! And take Sang Hyang of thy name.

ANTASENA: Sorry, I can't! This exsperiment is not just a mere expert pretension. This title is not for pretending to be great! This is for life's sake.

GIRINATA: Babo-khhk-phew! It's rude! Aren't thou afraid of the multiuniversal troops of Triloka?

ANTASENA: Sorry, Sir! No!

GIRINATA: The deuce! Catch him!

“Ay, Sir! Indra, Bayu, Brahma, Wisnu, Surya, Sambu, Kamajaya, Yamadipati,
Temboro, Trembuku—sergap si Antasena!”
“Ay, Sir! Ay, Sir! Ay, Sir! Ay, Sir!”
“O the World of Divas!” + “Back off! Bayu back off!”
“Bergenzong-bergenzong, Antasena can't be destroyed! Actually super-powerful
he is! Dangerous! Only Ki Semar can overcome this case, Lord!”
“Look! Ki Semar's coming!”

SEMAR: What's the matter, Lord? Battling with Mr Pak Antasena I see. Mercy me, Maha Sang Hyang! For universe's sake—Sang Hyang Segara Rekayasa is actually moved by the power of Sang Hyang Wenang. Nah, Mr Antasena—the tour of duty's finished! Wenang creates, Wenang reengineers, Wenang nurtures nature. Is it right, Maha Sang Hyang?

“About LHN—our father's the expert!”
“What is LHN, Truk?”
“LHN: Lakonet of Hyang Nation."

SANG HYANG WENANG: Ki Semar's right! Manggayuh karahar-janing praja, memayu-hayuning bawana.

Pick the flower
To free whatever

By Ki Harsono Siswocarito a.k.a Siswo Harsono. Semarang, December 22, 2007

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Quote on Art and Literature

    "There is only one school of literature - that of talent."
~ Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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