Sutan Pangurabaan rewrites Sumatran language landscapes: The political possibilities of commercial print in the late colonial Indies

in Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia
Open Access

An exploration of the exuberant publishing activities and circa 1930s texts by a largely unknown Sumatran vernacular writer, Sutan Pangurabaan Pane, father of the better-known authors Armijn and Sanusi Pane. Sutan P’s schoolbooks, how-to guides, and antiquarian volumes used Angkola Batak and Indonesian to promote a robust vision of Batak linguistic and cultural excellence. Flying under the radar of Dutch governmental censorship, Sutan P’s many works both mimicked and interrogated European textual forms, in sometimes anxious, ambiguous ways.

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