CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION A. Background Issues In every chance either in writing class or seminar, it would be found that there are a lot of questions about fiction, especially what can be learned from a poetry, short story, or novel. The question arises, especially in Indonesia, because there is such society stereotype or assumptions and perceptions that studying poetry, short story, or novel is like studying the beauty of words only. Studying literature works is only studying about fictional story, story-fetched, and almost unrelated to true life. It is also the reason which then raising such question about what should be done after studying literature works? Or where is a scholar can work? Or which institution can receive a scholar that graduates because of studying poetry, short stories, or novels? Indeed those questions do not seem fair when literature, a knowledge which is excluded, should bear such heavy issues. The real issue is how something that is essential (literature) can be attributed to the problems faced by Indonesian. In this case, it should be understood that the belles-lettres or literary work is “a result of selection” of various events and happenings, it is substantially screened from various motives of humanitarian facts, sharp and crucial thinking, and packaged in a textual network that has function as a sign or mark. Eventually, a text can be used as “information resources” in understanding the problems of man and society. According to Faruk, quoted from Goldman’s theory of geneticstructuralism, structural or literature is the product of an ongoing historical process that lived and internalized by society involved. Furthermore, he said that the genetic-structuralism is a statement about reality that is considered valid because it contains an overview of the system and 1


applying an integrated life, which is based on an ontological foundation in the form of the true nature of existence and the epistemological foundation in the form of a set of ideas that systematically about how to understand or know the reality in question.1 Nowadays, literature study is questionable more and more in its relevance and contribution in thinking about the problems faced by Indonesian society, seeing that there many problems are getting worse. Those problems include poverty, ignorance, and backwardness. In a more specific perspective, there are also the problem of corruption, injustice in its various forms, conflict and violence, social chaos, financial omnipotence, and others. The thing which distinguishes is that literature is written and packaged in a single abstraction event or occurrences so that literature works become something that, as if, it is not related to reality. In fact, the literature work actually raises those event or incident mentioned differently, symbolic, and in certain ways so that it becomes such informative text because various events are presented in an inspiring story to understand the events that occurred in the society.2 According to Maman S. Mahayana, in the history of Indonesian literature, we know that there is a number of mentioning about classification, periodicity or force. That mentioning of course would not necessarily appear out of nowhere. There is always an attempt to formulate an aesthetic or movement of the underlying spirit of the works that appear in line with the spirit of the time. From a number of naming about that forces or periodization, there are only three forces which underlie its name on the basis of spirit or aesthetic movement, namely Pujangga Baru,



Faruk, Pengantar Sosiologi Sastra: dari Strukturalisme Genentik sampai PostModernisme (Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar, 2012), p. 56 2 Aprinus Salam, Kajian Sastra dalam Masyarakat Indonesia. Retrieved April 28, 2014 from


Angkatan 45, and writers who emerged pasca-Angkatan 66, that is Angkatan 70.3 The poets who emerged pasca-Angkatan 66, is like faced the same anxiety about the situation of literature and culture after tragedy on 1965, which there is the spirit of freedom to express. The spirit of expression freedom was made possible by the following factors: (1) the waning of political influence in the arts, and more specifically, literature. Rejection of the artists against to political interference in the arts area has eliminated the psychological pressures that it is very important for the process of creating works of art, (2) Republishing independent magazine and newspaper which provide literature rubric, allowing writers have a lot of options for sending his work to various mass media without the pretension of factors outside literature, (3) publication of Horizon magazine, the magazine of Literature and Jaya Culture which provide space for experimental works, helping to create an atmosphere for the birth of the works are more powerful, while enabling the birth of new authors, (4) Establishment of Dewan Kesenian Jakarta (DKJ), which is fully supported by the Jakarta administration which have contributed to the born of the creative spirit and the courage to do the experimentation, (5) a shift in the orientation of writers in observing cultural tradition which can give a wider possibility for the writers to explore aesthetic.4 Since 1968, especially the first half of 1970s, belles-lettres rise showing the spirit of creative freedom. At that time, a variety of experimental works are like acquiring fertile land and good momentum. Experimental works that cover all range of literature (poetry, novels and short stories, and drama). Thus, in the conventional works published in 1970s, not a few those who show the spirit of freedom embodied in the   


Maman S Mahayana, Angkatan 70-An: Kembali Ke Tradisi (Konsep Estetik Abdul Hadi WM tentang Angkatan 70-an). Accessed on April 28, 2014 from 4 Maman S. Mahayana, Pengarang Tidak Mati: Peranan dan Kiprah Pengarang Indonesia (Bandung: Penerbit Nuansa, 2012), p. 273-274


form of experimental works. Meanwhile, the names were put by H.B. Jassin in Angkatan 66 in 1970’s, even showed the more maturity.5 According to Abdul Hadi, the approaching and attitude style towards the tradition can be divided into three groups of tendencies: (1) they who are taking elements of traditional culture for purposes inonasi in pronunciation. They see that there is in the tradition of the elements and aspects that are relevant for human-date outlook on life, especially irrationalism which has received the attention of the existentialists and adherents of the absurd genre, (2) those who claim to devote attention only to the local culture just like Javanese, Minangkabau, Malay, Sundanese, and others. The authors of this tendency work with the intention of giving a distinctive style of regionalism to the development of Indonesian literature, (3) those who take the direct tradition of the forms of spirituality and religion with the realization that certain Indonesian traditions and cultures was formed caused by the inclusion of several major religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Isla>m.6 The authors, which produce their work with a tendency to do such experimentation, who have been working since 1960s are Iwan Simatupang, Arifin C. Noor, Danarto, Sutardji Calzoum Bahri, Abdul Hadi, Kuntowijoyo, Putu Wijaya, Ikranagara, Ibrahim Satah, Leon Agusta, Akhudiat, Adri Darmadji Woko, Darmanto Jatman, and Yudhishthira ANM Massardi. Prophetic








transcendental literature and mystical spirit due to depart from the values of unity, but then it also has a passion to be involved in changing the history of humanity because it has the spirit of prophetic. In the intellectual tradition of


Sufi literature as well as literature can be

called transcendental because the authors described their transcendental, such as ecstasy, longing, and mystical union with God. Kuntowijoyo is   


Maman S. Mahayana, Pengarang Tidak Mati, p. 273-274 Abdul Hadi WM, Kembali Ke Akar Kembali Ke Sumber: Esai-Esai Sastra Profetik dan Sufistik (Jakarta: Pustaka Firdaus, 1999), p. 6 6


classified as transcendental literature writer because he were able to provide balance between social and spiritual themes, self involvement in humanitarian issues and the seriousness of worship, something which have dunyawiyyah and ukhrawiyyah characteristic, and between the history of activism and religious experience.7 In the formulation of prophetic literature, Kuntowijoyo’s thought based on



S{urah ‘Ali ‘Imra>n:

implied from the third verse of

3. There are four things8 that

S{urah ‘Ali ‘Imra>n,

namely (1) the concept

of the chosen people, (2) the history of activism, (3) the importance of transcendent, and (4) the prophetic ethics. The origins of this prophetic concept of ethics, according to Kuntowijoyo, can be traced in the writings of Iqbal and Roger Garaudy. In Rebuilding Religious Thought in


Iqbal revealed again Sufi word that the Prophet Muhammad had reached the highest point which become pretension of mystical expert (in the event of the Ascension or Isra’ Mi’raj), but he returned to the world to fulfill the apostolate duties. Extraordinary religious experience was not able to tempt the Prophet to stop. However, he makes it as a psychological power to change humanity. In other words, her religious experience precisely became the basis of his involvement in history, a history of activism.   


Abdul Hadi WM, Kembali Ke Akar Kembali Ke Sumber, p. 23 (1) The concept of the chosen people. Muslims would be the best people (khaira ummah) on condition of doing three things referred to the verse. Thus, people will not automatically become the choosen people. The concept of the choosen people in Islam is different from the concept of the choosen of Jews. The concept of Judaism led to racism, while the concept of Islam is precisely the best people in the form of a challenge to work harder towards activism in history. (2) A history of activism. Ukhrijat linna>s means that Muslim involvement in Islamic history. Wadat, ‘uzlah, and the priesthood are not justified. (3) Divine values become the foundation of Islamic activism. This role of awareness distinguishes Islamic ethics from materialistic ethics. Marxists view is that the superstructure (consciousness) is determined by the structure (social basic, material conditions) is contradictive with the Islamic view about independence of consciousness. That view always returns to the individual (individualism, existentialism, liberalism, capitalism) against Islam, because the one who determines the form of consciousness is not individual but God. Similarly, all forms of secularism is contradictive with divine consciousness. (4) Prophetic ethics. Surah ‘Ali ‘Imro>n verse 3 applies to everyone generally, either individual and collectivity. All of them are required to practice this verse which is commanding ‘Amar Ma’ru>f, Nahi> Munkar and Tu’minu>na billa>h. These three things are indispensable elements of prophetic ethics. 8


Sunnah of the Prophet is different with mystic who are satisfied with their own accomplishments. Sunnah of the Prophet which can be called as prophetic ethics.9 With regard to the trend of theme and foundation authorship, Kuntowijoyo introduced the idea of the Transcendental Literature Meeting in 1982 through his paper “Saya Kira Kita Memerlukan Juga Sebuah Sastra Transendental”. In transcendental literature, according to Kunto, first the authors must free themselves from the actuality, so that the author can get pure idea about the world and human; and second, to free themselves from the sensory apparatus, so that the author is able to express the symptoms that are behind symptoms which catch by sensory. The important thing in transcendental literature is meaning, not merely in the form of abstract and not concrete, spiritual and not empirical, and the inside instead of on the surface. Abdul Hadi W.M. calls it as Sufi Literature, because it has such attempt to explore the possibilities of aesthetic on the views of Sufi experts. Or, more specifically, Sutardji Calzoum Bachri integrates the social and transcendental dimension, z}ahir and bat}in, which appears in front of the eyes and hidden in the nature of incident.10 There is one thing that has been maintained in the practice of Sufi literature, is a tradition that is transmitted continuously, particularly divinity transmission or the principle of Tauh{i>d. This tradition becomes the only power which capable to fight against the changes and demands of the times by a loss of human’s belief in transcendental and holy thing. The meaning which can be understood on proliferation of Sufi literatures phenomenon in Indonesia related to the discourse on modernity and complexity of 1980s to 1990s is that the socio-political background of Sufi literature presence actually has attempt to give a reactions, responses, and   


Kuntowijoyo, Maklumat Sastra Profetik (Yogyakarta: Grafindo Litera Media, 2006), p.

1 10

Abdul Hadi W.M., Kembali Ke Akar Kembali Ke Sumber, p. 12-29


resistances generally to the discourse of modernism and particularry to secularism or secularization.11 Furthermore, it has been known that Kuntowijoyo in developing his thought is divided into two major currents, that are literature which has transcendental pattern (religious) and prophetic pattern. Literature that has transcendental pattern can be seen in the novel such as Khotbah di Atas Bukit (1976), Impian Amerika (1998), in short stories such as Dilarang Mencintai Bunga-Bunga (1992), Anjing-Anjing Menyerbu Kuburan (1997), and also in poetry collection such as Suluk Awang Uwung (1975). While the prophetic pattern can be observed in the work of his novel Pasar (1972), Mantra Pejinak Ular (2000), Wasripin dan Satinah (2003) and his poetry collection Makrifat Daun-Daun Makrifat (1995). Novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit (1976) that had ever been published as a serial in the Kompas daily newspaper presents the struggle of human heart in facing old age, it is one of the critical periods which often cause a lot of problems in one’s life. By the dominance of storytelling as a stream of consciousness through a character named Barman, the author was able to liven up that struggle atmosphere with very interesting way. How an old Barman, a diplomat who face his pension age, should face the invasion of changes repeatedly. At first he went to a villa in the hills with usual condition, but then he had thrown in a disappointing situation, one of reason is that he couldn’t longer give inner living on his young wife. His ongoing disappointment experience makes Barman had to change the orientation of life in old age.

B. Research Questions 1. What is socio-historical and theological background which underlies the creation of novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit?


11 Helmi Syaifudin, Fenomena Sastra Sufistik di Era Modern: Perbandingan Fenomena Sastra Sufistik di Indonesia dan Mesir pada Dekade 1980-an hingga 1990-an. Retrieved on Mei 13, 2014 from


2. What is the spiritual teaching of the main character in the novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit? 3. What is the contribution of novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit to Indonesian Sufi literature?

C. Aim and Significance Researchs Related to the formulation of the problems above, this research academically has aims:

1. To determine and describe the socio-historical and theological background which underlie Kuntowijoyo in writing novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit.

2. To determine and describe the problems of modern society and the spirituality of the main character in novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit. 3. To determine and describe the contribution of novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit to Indonesian Sufi literature. This research is expected to have some significances that can be described as follows: 1. Adding a little treasure of thinking about problems of modern society through Sufi literature approach. 2. Providing comprehensive understanding about spirituality, especially in literature study on novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit.

D. Prior Researchs As far as the researcher explores many books, articles, journals, he cannot find comprehensive discussion about spiritual experience in novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit. As for the discussion about spiritual experience studies have been carried out by scholars. The book “Motivation and Personality” by Abraham Maslow (1989) has identified some basic assumption of human motivation and personality in doing their life. One of the most important Abraham Maslow’s contributions for modern psychology is his theory about self-


actualization. Discussion of self-actualization can not be separated from Maslow’s theory about hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, those needs are main factors that motivate people to do any action. The first hierarchy of needs is physiological needs, for example eating, drinking, and sex. The second is safety needs, in which people could freely conduct their activities without being disturbed by the threats that can threaten their safety. The third is need for a sense of belonging and love (social needs). At this level, people need to bind itself to a particular social group and identify themselves with the group. The fourth is the need for recognition (esteem needs). Fifth, and highest, is need for self-actualization. Selfactualization can be interpreted as the highest development and utilizing all the talent, potential, and all quality and capacity in fullness. Self-actualization is the highest need, so that then it becomes the lowest priority needs. People must meet four requirements under its level to feel the need for self-actualization. Therefore, according to Maslow, very few people in this world who has reached the stage of selfactualization; less than one percent of humans on earth. This book provides enough representation on dialectical interpretation of basic human needs and the competencies of its potential. But in understanding, accepting, and applying the theory, a number of advanced qualification should be understood so that the concept can be more comprehensive. The book written Seyyed Hossein Nasr entitled Man and Nature (The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man) gives the view of existential or spiritual crisis experienced by humans are originated from the rebellion of modern human to God. That is when people leave God for the sake of strengthening his existence. Human existence has been moved from the center toward the edges of existence itself. This phenomenon is not only experienced by Western society but also generally in the East and particularly in Islamic society has also made mistakes by repeating what the western society has done.


Relate to novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit, there is a thesis entitled Pesan Dakwah Dalam Novel Khotbah di Atas Khutbah by Titik Indriana (2005). In this study, there were preaching messages that include ‘aqi>dah, syari>’ah, and akhla>q (morals). In her thesis, she also gives an overview of how to structure the novel’s message and mission along with literary criticism. -

In Aqeedah aspect, some messages inside it show the pillars of faith in God, Qur’a>n, and the Judgment Day.


In Shariah aspect, it contains messages of worship. In addition, there is mu’ammalah message which is applied in figure’s everyday life, that is how he does economic, social, educational, and leadership activity. The message in Shariah is not a part of worship such as reciting the creed (shaha>dah), prayer, zakat, fasting, or pilgrimage. But it is just a message so that people worship God.


While the message in morality (akhla>q) occupies the largest portion of the novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit.



includes how to do the best moral toward God and human being. Like how to devote to parents, glorify guests, thank, maintain health, preserve the nature, and behave goof to animals. That’s thesis is too short in giving idea about spiritual experiences which are experienced by the main character in the novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit. In addition, his writings only focused on preaching the message. Based on studies result above, this study aims to provide deeper description about the spiritual experience in the novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit written by Kuntowijoyo by basing it on socio-historical and theological background. Through descriptive qualitative analysis method by using semiotic approach and heuristic and hermeneutic readings, this research is expected to provide complete and comprehensive result more than previous research.


E. Research Methods This







emphasizing the qualitative aspects. After the data is collected, the next step is analyzing the data which have quality of descriptive qualitative. For the method itself is after the data is collected and then analyzed by completing and choosing the data that has been collected based on related problem which is researched. The researcher using interpretative analysis, means providing adequate interpretation using reflective mindset (thinking back and forth between induction and deduction, between abstraction and representation) (Muhajir, 1988: 94). Finally, by synthesizing various ideas contained in novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit, the researcher are able to conclude in the form of intact and complete unity of premises in order to achieve the aims and benefits of the research that has been determined. It is done because the thing that is wanted in this study is not a number or measurement, but meaning. While the method includes method of data collection and data analysis. 1. Data Resources The data of this research is taken from the literature sources such as books, journals, papers, articles, and others. There are two data sources that researcher use here; primary sources and secondary sources. a. The primary source is the data source from the first hand. The primary data source of this research is novel written by Kuntowijoyo entitled Khotbah di Atas Bukit. b. The secondary sources are books, magazines, papers, articles, journals, or similar, which is not the creation of the first hand, but it is a review or commentary of primary source.


2. Method of Collecting Data The method of collecting data used by researcher here is documentation method; it means that researcher examine written documents, both primary and secondary. Through this documentation method, researcher can examine and assess the works which is written by the author. In arranging the data into narrative text, the researcher analyzes data and constructing theories that are ready to be verifiable, by sticking to the approach. After description of the process is complete, then it should be continued with the process of inference. 3. Method of Data Analysis The researcher analyzes data using analysis interpretive, which analyzes the data contained in the text of novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit by using interpretation refers to the context of situational history contained in data. This research uses semiotics12 approach, by focusing on the language, means finding and understanding the signs. Then the researcher does reading text with heuristic13 (based on grammatical of the story) and hermeneutic14 (understanding all elements of the story).



The signs are everywhere, the word or phrase is a sign. And also gestures, traffic lights, flags, and others. Even the language of God can be said as a sign (verse), whether it’s in the nature (al-kauniyyah) or sign that is in the scriptures. Literature structure, film structures, buildings, artifacts, singing, fashion, or history can be considered as a sign. Everything can become sign. “We can only think by means of signs,” said Sanders Peirce. Read Aep Ahmad Hidayat, Filsafat Bahasa: Mengungkap Hakikat Bahasa, Makna dan Tanda (Bandung: Penerbit PT Remaja Rosdakarya, 2006), p. 130 13 Reading heuristic is reading the grammatical story; it means read sequentially from beginning until the end. 14 According to Teeuw, in hermeneutic, reading of the novel is based on a thorough understanding of the elements of the story. In understanding the story elements, the researcher must conduct a thorough understanding. It means understanding the techniques that can be done in stages, starting with understanding overall then analyze and understand its intrinsic elements (section partially).


F. Systematic of Writing The outline topics of this research are as follows: The first chapter is a preliminary study describes the design of the study. It contains a description of the background issue and research problems examine in this study as well as aim and significance of research, its methodology, and writing systematic used in this research. The second chapter explains the description of spirituality in Sufism perspective as a theoretical framework/foundation in this research. The third chapter is the description about Kuntowijoyo as a historian and an author, it because his literary works he wrote can give such new discourse in transcendental literature pattern. This discussion covers the socio-historical and theological background of Kuntowijoyo’s life. It is intended to determine the effect of forethought and influence his thinking as a literary figure who has contributed in creating belles-lettres that has transcendental pattern. In this chapter also discuss about detail novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit. The fourth chapter contains about Kuntowijoyo views on prophetic literature (transcendental) as outlined in his novel Khotbah di Atas Bukit. In this chapter researcher also describes and analyzes spirituality of the main character on this novel. It has aim to find common thread between prophetic ethics concepts initiated by Kuntowijoyo, so that it can be known that the novel mentioned is really gives a great contribution to Indonesian Sufi literature. Furthermore, some of conclusions of this study will be discussed in chapter five. This chapter will provide a summary of the entire theme which has been presented from the previous chapters. This chapter will provide answers for the problems that become the focus of this study. This last chapter will also include suggestions and recommendations which can be useful for the development of Indonesian Sufi literature.


The last, bibliography is the inclusion of references used by researcher. It is very important in order to maintain the validity and authenticity of referral sources used in writing this research.



CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION A. Background Issues In every chance either in writing class or seminar, it would be found that there are a lot of questions ab...

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