F. D. J. Pangemanann

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Frederick D. J. Pangemanann (also Pangemanan; 1870–1910) was a Minahasa journalist and novelist active in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).


Frederick Pangemanann[1] was born to the Pangemanan clan of Minahasa in 1870. Some sources report that he worked for the Dutch colonial government before retiring and becoming a journalist, but Indonesian writer and literary critic Pramoedya Ananta Toer believes this illogical owing to Pangemanann's young age at his time of death; Toer does, however, allow for the possibility of Pangemanann having become injured in the line of duty, forcing an early retirement.[2]

Around 1894 Pangemanann became a reporter for the Malay-language daily Bintang Betawi, based in the colonial capital of Batavia (now Jakarta). By this time he was already active in writing fiction. His story Tjerita Rossina was published as a serial in the newspaper.[2]

Pangemanann published his first novel, Tjerita Si Tjonat (The Story of Tjonat), in 1900. A reputed success, the novel followed the rise and fall of a bandit known as Tjonat.[3] His second and final novel, a collation of the serial Tjerita Rossina, was published three years later.[3] Both were bandit stories and used similar formulas.[4]

In 1902 Pangemanann began helping with the daily Warna Warta.[5] After Bintang Betawi was shut down in 1906, Pangemanann went to the peranakan Chinese-owned daily Kabar Perniagaan (later Perniagaan). In 1906 he was an establishing member of the colony's first press council.[2] Pangemanann died in 1910.[2]


Tjerita Si Tjonat was a commercial success. It was soon adapted for the stage,[3] and in 1929 Nelson Wong directed a film adaptation.[6] Tjerita Rossina likewise was quickly adapted for the stage. The novel was reprinted in 1910 but credited to H.F.R. Kommer; Toer considers this blatant plagiarism, although he notes that there were no copyright laws in the Indies at the time.[3] However, it appears that both are Malay adaptations of a story, published earlier in Dutch under the title De arme Rosetta, by W. L. Ritter, a Dutchman living and working in Borneo.[7] Tjerita Rossina was later adapted as a syair (poem) by Tulis Sutan Sati (published by Balai Pustaka in 1933).[4]

Indonesianist C. W. Watson writes that Pangemanann, together with the Indo journalists F. H. Wiggers and H. Kommer, was "most responsible for giving a stimulus and a direction to the writing of original stories in an Indonesian setting".[8] He notes that all three were fluent in Malay and appeared comfortable in both native and ethnic Chinese communities.[8]


  1. ^ Serikat Penerbit Suratkabar 1971, p. 98.
  2. ^ a b c d Toer 1982, pp. 26–7.
  3. ^ a b c d Toer 1982, pp. 28–9.
  4. ^ a b Watson 1971, p. 420–1.
  5. ^ Adam 1995, p. 75.
  6. ^ Said 1982, p. 19.
  7. ^ Koos Arens (1999). "Het onverslijtbaar kleed: Over de verhalen van W.L. Ritter (1799–1862)" (PDF). Indische Letteren. Jaargang 14: 30–50. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Watson 1971, p. 419.