YOGYAKARTA- Writer, journalist and culturalist, Goenawan Mohamad, on Monday (19/12) evening gave an oration at the Pagelaran of Keraton Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta Palace Hall).
Goenawan Mohamad raised a topic entitled Metaphor and Metamorphosis, Re-reading of “Malangsumirang”. The speech was delivered related to his receiving the Hamengku Buwono IX Award from Universitas Gadjah Mada during the 62nd Anniversary of UGM, 19 December 2011. The event was attended by UGM academic community in addition to several regional leaders, and dozens of artists and culturalists who are friends of Goenawan Mohamad.
In his speech, Goenawan said that the one inspiring him to bring the text of Malangsumirang was his own writing on the death and funeral of Sri Sultan HB IX back in 8 October 1988. At that time he had the chance to report firsthand the grand funeral of the King for TEMPO magazine. “Remembering the reportage of the grand funeral, I have opted for this theme by offering you the re-reading of an even older text: Malangsumirang,” Goenawan said.
By observing the ‘moves’ of the Malangsumirang – in the process of ‘metamorphosis’-, this text will be more appropriately speaking to us in the current age, an age when laws, rules and regulations, language are struggling against the ever changing reference, overskipping identities. “Or borrowing the words from Babad Jaka Tingkir which depict Malangsumirang, this is a time bringing with it changes 'datan kena pinethit kesite', even its tail cannot be grasped due to its sprint movement. We do not have to trust if the story of Malangsumirang was true, if Malangsumirang was ‘real’, and a metamorphosis,” Goenawan said.
Meanwhile, Sri Sultan HB X in the speech read out by GBPH Prabukusumo said that the cultural oration followed the red line of Goenawan Mohamad’s thinking. As a critic, Goenawan was trying to make use of Javanese idiom, pasemon, as his media of criticism. There is the saying 'ing sasmita amrih lantip', which means that in order to understand the symbolic meaning, it needs a sharp mind. “May be that’s what is meant by Mas Goenawan in his oration, which is a reminder for those in power,” Sultan said.
Sri Sultan HB X saw that it was not too much if the title of ‘pujangga’ (writer) is attached to Goenawan Mohamad. Such a term, even if it differs in meaning from intellectual in quality and function, both have equal duty and responsibility to build culture.
The granting of Hamengku Buwono IX Award to Goenawan Mohamad was conducted by Rector of UGM, Prof. Ir.Sudjarwadi, M.Eng., Ph.D., on 19 December 2011, at the peak of UGM’s 62nd Anniversary and the granting of Honoris Causa (HC) doctorate to Sri Sultan HB X at Grha Sabha Pramana (GSP). Goenawan Soesatyo Mohamad was born in Karangasem, Batang, Pekalongan, Central Java, on 29 July 1941. The writer of Catatan Pinggir in Tempo magazine also wrote poetry. His works include Parikesit (1969) and Interlude (1971).