T’ SPOOKHUIS, A MYSTERY ROMANCE OF GEDUNG SETAN IN JAVANESE

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Romance t’ Spookhuis (read: de Spuuk Heiys ) tells an escapade story of Sidharta, an indigenous young man who goes to a Dutch school with Sonia Heuvelman, a Dutch – Indonesian girl. Sidharta then accepted a challenge from his friend, especially Jan van Vliet to enter Gedung Setan (Devil’s Building, a real-life old building which still stood until now on the fork of Jl. Banyu Urip, Diponegoro dan Pasar Kembang). With a confidence that there is no such thing as ghost, he armed himself with camera’s equipment, attacking tools, and cudgel. They walked into the gedung setan.

It was the cover of the novel that initially caught my attention. The book’s cover reminds me about some Indonesian comics between 70’s and early 80’s. Apparently, it’s a roman mystery book that written by one of Surabaya’s most productive writers named Mr. Suparto Brata. Moreover, another subject that makes me very interested in it is because this book is a romance in Javanese language. I’ve enjoyed many of Mr. Suparto Brata’s masterpiece in Bahasa Indonesia and surely to read his book in Javanese language will give a different experience to any reader.

The writing of Mr. Suparto Brata is written in the Javanese language which is easy to understand for Surabaya people like me. (Editor’s note: there are different variants of Javanese languages. Javanese used by people in East Java differs significantly from the one used in Central Java, for example.) There are some words that make me pause to interpret from Javanese to Bahasa. But, so far I feel very comfortable reading every single of Mr. Suparto Brata opus.

Romance t’ Spookhuis (read: de Spuuk Heiys ) tells an escapade story of Sidharta, an indigenous young man who goes to a Dutch school with Sonia Heuvelman, a Dutch – Indonesian girl. Sidharta then accepted a challenge from his friend, especially Jan van Vliet to enter Gedung Setan (Devil’s Building, a real-life old building which still stood until now on the fork of Jl. Banyu Urip, Diponegoro dan Pasar Kembang). With a confidence that there is no such thing as ghost, he armed himself with camera’s equipment, attacking tools, and cudgel. They walked into the gedung setan.
The romance happened during some interactions between Sidharta and Sona, the pretty Dutch – Indonesian girl. Teasing jokes around them give some different persona in this romance. Although the setting of the story is in Surabaya during colonial times, the jokes were close enough, easily related to jokes by many of teenagers nowadays.
The strength of this book is its detailed story and description, because of the writer’s deep knowledge about history and many things that happen in the past which some contemporary writers aren’t able to convey. Representation about the conditions of the places and some pictures of the past is able to persuade me to explore these periods in my imagination.

To make it fair, the weakness about this romance novel is from the using of too many repetition, making the storyline kind of slow. Though it might be fun to read it aloud orally! Furthermore the abundant use of Dutch language without any translation foot notes make readers can’t understand the meaning.
Still, don’t let that deter you from reading this fun masterpiece by Mr. Suparto Brata. It definitely provides you a guaranteed worth of informative writing. Happy reading…

English translation by Atthur Razaki, vocal at Taman Nada.

Posted by admin on Monday, July 29th, 2013. Filed under Bedah Buku. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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