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Ian Campbell


Kumpulan puisi dalam Bahasa Indonesia oleh IAN CAMPBELL/Poetry compilation in Indonesian by the Australian poet Ian Campbell. This collection of poems explores the notion of the 'south' from locations in Indonesia, Australia, Chile and Argentina, locations in which the poems were written. Explaining his topographical approach in these poems, Campbell says:

"One of the poems, titled in the Indonesian original 'Lejano sur' (Ke Kejauhan Selatan), appears alongside an English version, called 'Further South.' This short poem takes Borges's short story 'Sur' and a reference to Avenida Rivadavia that he includes in 'Sur' as its starting point for crossing into 'the South' from the centre of Buenos Aires. I then explore ideas of southness - as paradoxically moving 'south' away from North into a region where 'the natural elements are supreme'. Recent Chilean poetry eg 'Despedidas Antárticas' by Julio Carrasco (2006) picks up this idea of 'towards the essence' better than recent Australian poetry. Only Tom Griffiths, the historian, has recently explored this in prose. There are Borgesian images of dust/lack of clarity, then we head into a region where eg Torre del Paine, admittedly on the Chilean side of the Andes, come to mind. The stress on the elements - stone, wind, fire - is an allusion to the way Indonesian poet, Acep Zamzam Noor, portrays these elements in a poem 'Batu dan Angin' (Stone and Wind) which has strong sufi/meditative elements. We head into the polar area, which because of climate change, is now melting. But there is also an allusion to Douglas Stewart's play 'Fire on the Snow' about the 1911 Scott expedition and the value of 'human failure'. Even the 'essence' is melting and is no longer stable."

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Ian Campbell

Ian Campbell is an alumnus of the University of Sydney in the field of Indonesian Studies. In 1988 he completed an MA research thesis on family law and inheritance law in West Java. More recently (2007) he was awarded an M Phil with a thesis on contemporary Indonesian language poetry from West Java - He also writes poetry in Indonesian with publications in the Indonesian mass media in Jakarta and Bandung, West Java, in 2002-2005. In 2004 and 2007 he undertook a series of literary visits to Indonesia with readings of his Indonesian language poetry in West Java and Bali (2004) and West Java (2007) in conjunction with local literary and other associations. His papers are held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra -- see Other interests, and associated academic papers, cover fields as diverse as European Inter-War literature, Latin American literature and Australian Natural and Environmental History.