Lontar Foundation

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Lontar Foundation
Lontar Foundation logo.jpg
Founded 1987
Founder Goenawan Mohamad
Sapardi Djoko Damono
Umar Kayam
Subagio Sastrowardoyo
John H. McGlynn
Type Non-Profit Organization
Area served
Product Books, Images, Film, Audio
Slogan Promoting Indonesia through Literature and Culture
Website http://www.lontar.org/

The Lontar Foundation, a not-for-profit organization based in Jakarta, Indonesia, was founded in 1987 by four Indonesian writers: Goenawan Mohamad, Sapardi Djoko Damono, Umar Kayam, and Subagio Sastrowardoyo and the American translator, John H. McGlynn.[1]

The foundation is an independent organization, neither affiliated with nor intended to promote the interests of any particular political cause or group. The Foundation's core activity is the translation and publication of Indonesian literary works whose long-term goals are:

  • To stimulate the further development of Indonesian literature;
  • To make Indonesian literature accessible to an international audience; and
  • To preserve for future generations Indonesia's literary record.

One of Lontar's most noted works is Illuminations : the writing traditions of Indonesia : featuring manuscripts from the National Library of Indonesia. According to Associate Professor Jean Gelman Taylor from the University of New South Wales, "Wetherhill and the Lontar Foundation have made a major contribution to scholarship by bringing together in one book these samples of Indonesia's intellectual and artistic heritage." [2]

Lontar also published Indonesia in the Soeharto Years - Issues, Incidents and images written by John H. McGlynn and a large number of other writers. According to Dr. Katharine McGregor, Senior Lecturer in Southeast Asian History at the University of Melbourne, "[a] strength of the work is the rich collection of photographs which document key protests, acts of violence, street life and Indonesian protest art." [3]

In 2010, the Lontar Foundation published the Lontar Anthology of Indonesian Drama, the first anthology of Indonesian drama translated into English, featuring a diverse group of translators such as Harry Aveling, an authority on Indonesian and Malay literature, among others. In May 2011, the Lontar Foundation launched a new series of Indonesian literature translated into English called the Modern Library of Indonesia featuring works from the 1920s until the present, including authors such as Putu Wijaya and Dewi Lestari.[4] According to Tempo, "[Lontar] has inarguably become Indonesia's foremost literary foundation, and now has under its belt an impressive collection of translated literary works, from prose to poetry to drama." [5]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Cohen, Matthew Isaac; McGlynn, John H., eds. (2010). The Lontar anthology of Indonesian drama. Volume 1: Plays for the Popular Stage. Jakarta, Indonesia: Lontar. ISBN 9789798083709. 
  • Bodden, Michael; McGlynn, John H., eds. (2010). The Lontar anthology of Indonesian drama. Volume 2: Building a National Theater. Jakarta, Indonesia: Lontar. ISBN 9789798083716. 
  • Gillitt, Cobina; McGlynn, John H., eds. (2010). The Lontar anthology of Indonesian drama. Volume 3: New Directions, 1965-1998. Jakarta, Indonesia: Lontar. ISBN 9789798083723. 
  • McGlynn, John (2007). Indonesia in the Soeharto Years. City: Lontar/KITLV. ISBN 978-90-6718-263-8. 
  • Kumar, Ann; McGlynn, John H., eds. (1996). Illuminations : the writing traditions of Indonesia : featuring manuscripts from the National Library of Indonesia. Jakarta New York: Lontar Foundation Weatherhill. ISBN 9780834803497. 


  1. ^ Poernomo Gontha Ridho (10 December 2003). "Duta Besar AS Sumbang Yayasan Lontar" [U.S. Embassador donates to the Lontar Foundation]. Tempo (in Indonesian). ISSN 0126-4273. Archived from the original on 2004-04-01. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Jean Gelman (1998). "Illuminations: The Writing Traditions of Indonesia by Ann Kumar; John H. McGlynn. Review by: Jean Gelman Taylor". The Journal of Asian Studies. 57 (3): 916–919. JSTOR 2658818. 
  3. ^ McGregor, Katharine (13 April 2008). "Book Reviews-Indonesia in the Soeharto years: Issues Incidents and Images". Inside Indonesia. ISSN 0814-1185. Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Katrin Figge (20 May 2011). "Found in Translation: Putting Indonesian Novels on the Map". The Jakara Globe. Jakarta, Indonesia. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Kusumaatmadja, Kendisan (23–29 January 2012). "A Portrait of Our Times". Tempo: 40–41. ISSN 0126-4273. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 

External links[edit]