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New Left Review I/35, January-February 1966


T. Wignesan

Robert Curtis’ Review of ‘Bunga Emas’

Bunga Emas (‘Golden Blossom’, according to your reviewer, Robert Curtis, in nlr 31) means tribute, and as explained in the glossary and jacket, is a token resistance of the Chinese and Indian (non-Malay majority of Malaysia) writers and poets to their evanescent mother cultures. Inclusion of their work in this anthology was purely on merit, restricted to 272 pp. mainly for financial reasons. Lack of a Malay section was due, as stated in my preface, to copyright reasons. First, no Malay writer sent me his work in answer to my advertisements; second, Malay literature had already been anthologised when I began compiling in the latter half of 1961. See three collections of short stories and poems: Mekar dan Segar, Puisi Melayu Baru and Sajak Melayu Baru. The Malayan and Singapore Governments’ literary agencies and the pena, the national Malay writers association, refused to co-operate with me on this anthology.

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