teChniCAl note
I use the old (which is pre-1972 and pre-1947) spelling for the Indonesian words
in the text: wajang, krontjong, or petjok, and not wayang, kroncong, or pecok. It
was how my interviewees spelled the words throughout their lives and mostly
still when I met them. The local names, in contrast (again following my inter-
viewees), I spell in the post-1972 way: Jakarta not Djakarta, Bandung not Ban-
doeng, or Yogyakarta not Djokjakarta. Personal names, also, I spell depending
on how I saw a particular person write his or her name: thus Soemardjan (in the
old spelling) or Mangunwijaya (in the new spelling).
In an
interview, all in one language (as a general rule, Indonesian), a word
or part of a sentence might suddenly be uttered in another, in most cases in
Dutch, often in English, sometimes in Javanese or in other local languages and
dialects. There was always a significant reason for this change: the switch or slip
always marked some memory of the past, some moment of the present, mostly
both. The flavor and the substance of the interviews thus changed. Only most
crudely am I able to evoke this difference by using italics for these words and
events. (This is why sometimes an English word or sentence in my English text,
strangely, appears in italics.)
When mentioning or quoting Indonesians, I often use their name that comes
first, for instance, “Rosihan” for Rosihan Anwar. It does not signify any par-
ticular familiarity between me and the person. It is the way Indonesian names
(not the family name following the given name necessarily) are structured and
Lastly, I do not introduce and explain my interviewees by giving their bib-
liographies as they enter. I want these people to appear (like me) carried by the
moment of our talking. I believe that all the facts and dates relevant to what
they and I wanted to convey are there, in how we talked, at a certain age, in
this promenade fashion. A list of the interviewees, with their full names and the
dates and the places of the interviews, can be found at the end of the book.
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