Rezension hist. Indonesien-Roman: Garten der Menschheit, von Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1980, ind. Bumi Manusia) – 6 Sterne – Links & Pressestimmen

Was mir gefiel:

  • viel Handlung
  • viele kurzweilige Dialoge
  • interessante Einblicke
  • ordentliche, flüssige Übersetzung durch Brigitte Schneebeli (jedoch pauschal kritisiert von Einar Schlereth)

Weniger behagte mir:

  • sehr ungewöhnliche, untypische indonesische Hauptfiguren
  • Hauptfigur Ann nur hübsch + hohl
  • über weite Strecken naiver, kindlicher Erzählton (Ich-Erzähler ist ca. 18) (ähnlich Toers Erzählband Das ungewollte Leben)
  • im letzten Viertel teils melodramatisch bis absurd, wie ein Bollywood-Schmachtfetzen
  • Kolonialismus– und Doppelmoral-Kritik gelegentlich zu aufdringlich

Die Kritiker:

Die Zeit:

Literarische Auseinandersetzung mit der Kolonialgeschichte und der Macht in einem anrührend integren Bildungs- und Entwicklungsroman…

New York Times:

A wonderful example of the best storytelling tradition of his country… The web of relationships Mr. Toer has woven affords a lesson in the complex psychology of colonial life — of both the colonizers and the colonized. There are few one-dimensional „good“ or „bad“ characters here. Instead, people grope for an understanding of themselves and the complex society in which they live… Mr. Toer, though Javanese, has always written in the national Malay language, Bahasa Indonesia. But it is in the universal language of fine storytelling that he speaks most persuasively.

  • Goodreads: 4,37 von 5 Lesersternen (10.101 Stimmen, 1142 Besprechungen)
  • Amazon.com: 4,3 von 5 Lesersternen (77 Besprechungen, jew. April 2017)

Publishers Weekly:

The richly textured depictions of the East Indies mercantile life and social ills as well as family tensions suggest Conrad and Dickens… The result is simultaneously a compelling romantic tragedy and a moving dramatization of the pressures of race and class that inform the colonial situation.

Kirkus Reviews:

Toer has vividly evoked a special time and place–but the story, unlike the far more subtle and universal The Fugitive, is too obvious a polemic

Indonesien-Anthropologe Clifford Geertz über die gesamte Serie:

Relentless succession of desperately earnest conversations between typified characters in schematized scenes…. a narrative, or a series of narratives, that consists almost entirely of talking heads explaining and re-explaining themselves to one another

The New Yorker über die gesamte Serie:

The earlier novels are the better ones: tightly written and swift-paced, they strike a careful balance between narrative and ideas. In the third and fourth volumes, there are some fairly rough patches that approach nonfiction, with characters setting forth Pramoedya’s version of Indonesian history to one another in “he said/she said” form.

The Guardian:

A bittersweet coming-of-age novel…. The tale quietly excoriates colonial society, in which Indonesians suffer injustices and humiliations because social standing and rights depend on the amount of European blood in one’s veins.

Travelfish.org:

Like Burmese Days, this was another Southeast Asian classic we feared was going to be dry but turned out to be a compelling, fascinating read… This ambitious novel is an unblinking examination of colonialism, racism and sexism, woven through a colourful coming-of-age tale

  • Dt. Wikipedia zur Romantetralogie, die mit Garten der Menschheit beginnt
  • Engl. Wikipedia zum Roman Garten der Menschheit (engl. This Earth of Mankind)


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