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Contours of Noir | February 23, 2018

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The Tiger Man – Eka Kurniawan

| On 01, Apr 2015

Publisher: Metropolis On Asia – Necklace: Storytellers
Original Title: Male tiger
Genre Yellow
Year 2015
ebook version
Translated by: Monica Martignoni


I would say that you can also stop immediately humming the theme song of a popular cartoon (this denotes increasingly my registry): the translator, Monica Martignoni, had no major alternatives on the title because this is about.

Before starting the review, give me a brief interlude. And’ the first input of the narrative Indonesian in my library: as in other cases it is more entry for mere curiosity and for a title so sonante. I do not say there was skepticism – no otherwise I would not have even read – but strong curiosity. The curiosity that already puts you in the idea that if the book were to be bad, was however added value read. I do not know how many of you have ever read a book written by a writer Indonesian, and not even know how many of you are aware of a contemporary Indonesian literature. The merit of Metropolis D'Asia lies in this: to confront us with another literary universe, not less than or less in terms of variety and quality for writers. And now we start.

Kurniawan more interesting is the exponent of a new generation of Indonesian writers, built after the end of a repressive dictatorship ended in 1998 which held back and blocked any cultural development in what is now the world's largest Muslim nation. The pages of this book will take you in a small village near the Indian Ocean where unfolds the story of two families tortured and bound together.
A microcosm that intersects the figures that animate it in a continuous exchange of situations, colors, weather, nature and odors. Interspersed with all this the personalities of the protagonists and co-stars, the depth of a religion that is followed with secular continuity and that is much more integrated into the fabric of everyday life than it happens in our country.

A counterpart of this religiosity also prevails here wildness human, carnal desire, domestic violence, one and only “glue” for some reason and escape, for other. Are the brutal feelings to push the players towards each other and against each other. Below the human level and there is the foundation of the religious charged every religion: and it is here that we find the myth of “tiger”. The mythology of the tiger originated in Sumatra, place where the tigers were always in greater numbers than elsewhere. The myth has it that the tigers are superior beings capable of understanding human speech and take offense if the man does not lead to them proper respect. Also, the current language, there is no real term for the tiger so that we can talk about her without her wishes that you are doing. So then there are men (and women) that are actually inhabited by tigers that occur at certain times of their lives and that make them act so savage in all senses. There's a reason triggering, there is a situation of mind. Some are able to see the tiger others, especially at night and especially in the eyes. The tiger can hatch in your mind for a long time, Then rock out and return to you. But at the moment that jumps out is the tiger who commands. And who is the object of the wrath of the tiger does not survive.

Beyond the folklore and fable, the whole story does not stop on this aspect, but lines up the whole life of the protagonists through different windows of time, recalling the events and situations and showing how each of us can hatch a tiger in itself and how it can happen that it decides to strike.
Leggetelo, I recommend it: its simplicity will show you how you can trace a path of blood lightly, and in the dim light of the banana trees Indonesians while not betraying a tension literary: you will be taken to read voraciously, to understand what has put into the chest of Margio – the protagonist – the tiger.

Michele Finelli

The writer:
Eka Kurniawan was born in Tasikmalaya (in the west of the island of Java) in 1975. He studied philosophy at the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta and works as a journalist, writer and designer. Thanks to the novel Cantikitu Luka (2002), immediately takes place among the leading figures of the new literary scene in Indonesia, a country that is being revived after decades of a repressive dictatorship, ended in 1998. Man tiger is being published in France (Sabine Wespieser) and in England (Verso Books).