Sitor Situmorang

Situmorang, Sitor


Born Oct. 2, 1923, on the island of Samosir, Sumatra. Indonesian writer of Batak nationality.

Situmorang began publishing in 1949. He was influenced by the philosophy of existentialism and especially by A. Camus, as seen in the poetry collections Letters on Green Paper (1953), Nameless Face (1955), and Amid Poetry (1955), in the one-act plays in the collection Mutiara Street (1954), and in the short stories in Battle and Snow in Paris (1956).

Situmorang participated in activities of the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association. Beginning in 1961, with the publication of his poetry collection New Era, he has been increasingly influenced by leftist Chinese views, according to which literature’s only role is that of political agitation; an example is his collection of critical essays Revolutionary Literature (1965). In 1965, soon after power in Indonesia shifted to the army, Situmorang was imprisoned.


Pangeron. Bandung, 1963.


Sikorskii, V. lndonesiiskaia literatura. Moscow, 1965.
Teeuw, A. Modern Indonesian Literature. The Hague, 1967.
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The well-known poet, scholar and activist Sitor Situmorang observes that the gondang sabangunan was integral to every pre-Christian Toba Batak adat and religious celebration, where it served as a 'ritual language', presumably a means of communicating with the gods through music.
18) Sitor Situmorang, personal communication; Amani Bunga Sinaga, interview, October 1994.
31) Sitor Situmorang, Guru Somalaing dan Modigliani 'Utusan raja Rom': Sekelumit sejarah lahirnya gerakan ratu adil di Toba (Jakarta: Penerbit Grafindo Mukti, 1993), p.