David Reeve, "To Remain Myself: The History of Onghokham" (ASAA Southeast Asia Publications Series / NUS Press, 2022)

44:19
 
Share
 

Manage episode 341264565 series 2421522
By Marshall Poe. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

To Remain Myself: The History of Onghokham (ASAA Southeast Asia Publications Series / NUS Press, 2022) is a particularly vivid biography of a remarkable individual, an Indonesian historian and public intellectual who was both a public figure and a multi-minority member, being Dutch educated, Indonesian Chinese, gay, alcoholic, irreligious and hedonist, in a conservative society. This is the first Indonesian biography where the interior life is closely recorded: the fears, doubts, confusions; the issues of sexuality, the mental breakdown, the jailing, the later success, joys and celebrity, as a historian, public intellectual and famous cook.

This biography breaks out of the Indonesian Chinese category. It is primarily an Indonesian story. In its early chapters this biography reveals much about the ‘sugar king’ Chinese aristocracy of Indonesia, from the inside. In its later chapters this book shows much about the development of Indonesians writing their own post-colonial history, and the intellectual influences on this writing.

Onghokham was a senior public intellectual with over 300 writings over 50 years, containing original insights into many varied Indonesian topics, including colonial history and its effects on modern politics and society; the Indonesian Chinese; ‘outsiders’ -- marginal people; the jago or brigand as people’s champion; sexuality in Indonesia past and present; food; the Oedipus complex; painting; traditional Javanese beliefs from the palace to the peasant.

Like this interview? If so, you might also be interested in:

Professor Michele Ford is the Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/biography

1125 episodes