Sundanese Poetry in Translation and Performance: The Work of Kang Godi

Loading Map....

Date(s) - 20/06/2012
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Room HB.32 (basement), Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus


Special Seminar/Performance In Celebration of 50 Years of Indonesian and Malay Studies at Monash University

Godi Suwarna & Dr Safrina Soemadipradja

Sundanese is Indonesia’s second largest regional language with over 27 million speakers and a distinct literary tradition of its own. In spite of this, its literary works are almost unknown outside of Indonesia and are rarely translated. This seminar will be a unique presentation of one of the most well-known contemporary Sundanese poets, Godi Suwarna, performed by the poet himself with academic Dr Safrina Soemadipradja Noorman as our guide. Dr Safrina will also present her comments regarding the specific nature of Sundanese language as literature and approaches to its translation.

Godi Suwarna is an avant-garde Sundanese literary giant. He has received many awards, including the prestigious Rancage Prize, awarded three times for his writing in three different genres: poetry, novel and the short story. Having been raised in a traditional manner in a literature-rich environment, his refined use of Sundanese sets him apart from his contemporaries. Godi makes full use of the language, and is especially known for his striking sound patterns. His poems have been published in four volumes: Jagat Alit (Microcosm), Surat-surat Kaliwat (Letters of the Past), Blues Kere Lauk (Dried Fish Blues) and Sajak Dongeng si Ujang (Poetic Stories for Ujang).

Dr Safrina Soemadipradja Noorman teaches in the English Department of the Faculty of Arts and Language Education, Indonesian University of Education, Bandung. Safrina completed her doctoral degree in Literature at the University of Indonesia, Jakarta. As part of her doctoral study, she was also a Fulbright scholar at Illinois State University. Although Sundanese by birth, Safrina only began to embrace her heritage after 2001 when she helped organize the First International Conference on Sundanese Culture. Since then, she has been involved in various activities relating to Sundanese culture, including the translation of literary works. Beside Sundanese culture, her other interests are Children’s and Adolescent Literature and Popular Culture.