Two Short Stories by Pamusuk Eneste: 'Generals' and 'The Critic' Translated from the Indonesian by David T. Hill
Hill, D.T. (1997) Two Short Stories by Pamusuk Eneste: 'Generals' and 'The Critic' Translated from the Indonesian by David T. Hill. Tenggara (Journal of Southeast Asian Literature), 39 (1). pp. 22-29.
A retiring yet energetic man, Pamusuk Eneste's steady output of short stories, often marked by gentle often whimsical satire, is earning him a growing reputation as an accomplished writer of short fiction in Indonesia.
Pamusuk Eneste was born into the Nasution clan of the Batak ethnic group in Padang Matinggi, North Sumatra on 19 September 1951. The death of his school-teacher father in 1954 meant the family had to subsist on a minimal pension augmented by the modest income from his mother's petty trading ventures, an experience which illustrates Pamusuk's "definitely non-middle-class background".
As a school-child Pamusuk left Sumatra in 1968, and followed his older married sister to Jakarta where he continued his senior high school education. Although a student in the Natural Sciences [Ilmu Pengetahuan Alam] stream, he was strongly attracted to literature.
After attending some lectures at the Jakarta Arts Centre, Taman Ismail Marzuki by the eminent literary historian H.B. Jassin (whose famous works he had read previously in Sumatra), Pamusuk quickly made the academic's acquaintance.
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