Monday, March 30, 2009

The Neglect of Literature from Sarawak

There's a very interesting academic article about the neglect of Malaysian literature in English from Sarawak up on Guat's blog. (Part 1 of the article here.) It's written by Patrick Yeoh who teaches at Unimas.

Perhaps the most interesting reason Yeoh gives is :
... the apparent lack of a felt need by Sarawakian writers of literature in English to be linked to mainstream Malaysian literature in English in any way: they write what they know, feel and are concerned about – and these have no conscious Malaysian-ness.
It really is true that we hear very little - even here about - what is being written and publsihed in East Malaysia, and it would be really nice to make some links - even virtual ones.

7 comments:

Yusuf Martin said...

This is a very good point.

And now for a very stupid idea, but...

What does everyone think about the concept of a conference for writers, writing in English, in Malaysia? Including all ages, sexes, gender persuasions, location etc.

Incorporating views from publishers telling what they require/look for, facilitators of writing courses, writers and wannabe writers, published and unpublished.

Well I did say it was a stupid idea.

bibliobibuli said...

not at all a stupid idea. now all that remains is for someone (you?) to get it off the ground!

Lydia Teh said...

Great idea, Yusuf. Second Sharon's suggestion :)

Anonymous said...

Don't just talk about it, but get it DONE!!!

- Poppadumdum

bibliobibuli said...

and that is the truly hard part. we need a writers centre ...

but informally, even, the more links we can make, the better.

BorneoExpatWriter said...

And avoid academics from purely an academic point of view. I've been to conferences where they tried to cater to both, and it lacked focus, neither here nor there. Academics (and academic writers only) are too theoretical and what is needed is the practical side of creative writing and publishing from this region (the harsh realities and the potential) and how to break out of this region, so our work can appear on a bigger stage and not live and die here.

Yusof, ask more stupid questions and we might even get somewhere!

Eli James said...

Hey, I KNOW Patrick Yeoh ... once acted in a play written by him.

Teaches in Unimas, you say?

Hrmm ...

/looks at sheaf of manuscripts in bedroom drawer

/shudders

It'll be sometime before you hear from me on this, I'd say.