Equilibrium, Theme Exploration in Indonesian Literature

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Short Story Collection (Photo: Bramantio Collection)

UNAIR NEWS – In Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR), there are many authors who have introduced their works to public, from students, alumni to lecturers. Book reviews session often held in campus to appreciate their works. Like the one held on Friday, May 3, in Siti Parwati Hall Faculty of Humanities (FIB) UNAIR to welcome and appreciate a short story collection of a lecturer from Indonesain Literature, Bramantio, S.S., M.Hum., titled EquilibriumEquilibrium is his first work through indie label Ar-Ruzz Media on  February 29, 2016. In the 162 paged book, there are nine short stories sorted alphabetically, “Anomali”, “Bizarroseania”, “Chimera”, “Doppelganger”, “Equilibrium”, “Fabelofobia”, “Grotesque”, “Hominivorax”, and “Inkubus”.

The book review session attended by students and lecturers, invited alumnus reviewer Arief R. Hakim. Through his review, Arief said that Equilibrium reminded him to James Joyce. He found similar naughtiness to Dubliners which appeals the readers with allusions, either biblical, mythological or socio-cultural.

“I found naughtiness in the characters of Idirs, Christian, Ahmad, Aleph which brings to the transcendent, so did in Cerberus, Chimera or Vishnu,” explained Arief.

Equilibrium Creative Process

In the process, Bramantio took notes anything interesting from his reading, film or daily activities. Those materials then processed when he was in a good condition, not when he was tired, moody, angry, sad or did other things. For him, writing is not a side job so it demanded him to focus in the process.

“Some short stories in Equilibrium were written a decade ago. Years later they came with their own ways, came and went like a ghost who is always be missed to keep growing and find its perfect being,” he said.

The story-telling expert did not expect that the most difficult thing in the process of finishing the book was not about finding gap and light to deal with the absence of ideas. Not also about formulating words which embrace and enliven the moments.

“Like going through life, the hardest thing was to let go. To let the stories find their own path,” he said.

For Bramantio, Equilibrium as a theme was absolute. He felt comfortable with unfamiliar themes. He admitted that he does not like conducting research and therefore he does not like contextual theme. Besides, he considered myths and phenomena in the other part of the world interesting and open more interpretations.

“I want Indonesian literature to be richer on theme exploration and storytelling perspective, not merely see things from typical viewpoints. For my book in the future, hopefully I will live longer and have a wide path,” he said.

Before writing a literary work, Bramantio was known as a competent critic. His work as a critic has been the third winner in Literary Criticism Contest of  Jakarta Arts Council in 2007 and the first winner in Literary Review Contest of Jakarta Arts Council in 2009. With a background as a crtic, Bramantio believes that critics also need skill in writing their criticism.

“They should be able to express their ideas well, not only orally but also in written form,” he said. (*)

Author : Lovita Martafabella
Editor  : Nuri Hermawan

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