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By the 1970s, there was little if any cultural memory of the resentments felt by Indonesian writers and intellectuals of the 1950s toward Wright’s representation of Indonesia and Indonesians in The Color Curtain. In 1977 Goenawan Mohamad, a prominent younger generation writer and intellectual and heir to the universal humanist tradition in Indonesian cultural thought, published a short essay occasioned by the publication of Wright’s American Hunger. This essay, reverting to the kind of textual response to Wright’s creative work that echoes the admiration of Pramoedya Ananta Toer in the early 1950s, expresses the view that Wright’s work pursues questions of the human heart in a way that has something to teach Indonesian society about politics and politicians. The essay is an early example of the type of essay Goenawan has composed for his long-running column Catatan Pinggir (Sidelines) in the national weekly news magazine Tempo.

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