Reading Ayu Utami: Notes toward a Study of Trauma and the Archive in Indonesia
Sears, Laurie J.
This essay explores Indonesian author Ayu Utami’s novel Saman (1998) and focuses on its sequel Larung (2001) to investigate how trauma shapes and haunts Indonesian archives. The essay shows how literary works offer a method of reading the traces that exceed the archive, traces that historians are unable to record or to witness. The essay offers some preliminary thoughts on what Utami’s novels add to academic debates about trauma and the construction and deconstruction of Indonesian archives, and it considers what Freudian literary critiques might contribute to the study of Indonesian histories.
Volume & Issue:
Page range: 17-40
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program