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Jakarta Flanerie : selected writings of Seno Gumira Ajidarma


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Fuller, ACS 2010 , 'Jakarta Flanerie : selected writings of Seno Gumira Ajidarma', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The intersection of urban life and literature is the starting point for this thesis on the writings of Seno Gumira Ajidarma. Seno has been writing since the early 1980s and is widely recognised as being one of the key figures of contemporary Indonesian literature. Throughout this thesis, Seno's works are used as the source material for an analysis of a writer's imagining of urban life in contemporary Indonesian literature. As such, this research seeks to contribute to discourses on Indonesian urban societies, Indonesian social and political cultures
and contemporary Indonesian thought. I link Seno's work and studies of Indonesian urban trends with those occurring in other parts of the world. By drawing on historical, anthropological, literary and postcolonial studies of urban spaces and societies, this thesis shows the key ways in which urban spaces - particularly those of Jakarta - are imagined in the writings of Seno Gumira Ajidarma. I argue that Seno's writing allows a reading of urban spaces and societies that draw on ideas regarding Indonesian cities found in writings both from within and outside of Indonesia.
This thesis uses theories developed on the idea of 'the flaneur' and the practice of flanerie in contemporary urban societies. These theories are used to analyse the ways in which Seno Gumira Ajidarma writes of and about contemporary urban conditions in Indonesia in general and Jakarta in particular. I locate four primary areas where the concept of 'the flaneur' is present in the writings of Seno Gumira Ajidarma. Firstly, Seno imagines the flaneur as a figure who engages in urban life in both an ambivalent and a critical manner. Secondly, he engages in flanerie as a consumer of jazz in late night jazz clubs and as a reader of news reports detailing stories of state violence far from urban Jakarta. Thirdly, he is a flaneur who negotiates the meanings of the urban soundscape. And, finally, the flaneur is a part of the urban landscape in a time of crisis who interprets the scenes before him through taking photographs and using a taxi to pass through city streets. The thesis shows that Seno's writings are both a continuation of an earlier tradition of flanerie and that he engages with contemporary theories and ideas concerning urban societies.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Fuller, ACS
Keywords: Ajidarma, Seno Gumira, 1958-, Flaneurs in literature
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Copyright 2010 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
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Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2010. Includes bibliographical references

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