Anwar Chairil 1922 - 1949 (27)

To mean something, once, Then death.



Chairil Anwar (1922-1949) has been called “Indonesia’s greatest literary figure. He was born in Medan, North Sumatra, on July 26, 1922 and had moved with his mother to Jakarta at the age of 19 where he mixed with the literary circles that would come to be known as the “Generation of ‘45.” From 1942 until his death in 1949 he wrote seventy-odd poems, along with some prose pieces, radio scripts, and translations. Many of his poems were at times censored by the Japanese, then occupying Indonesia.

His work dealt with various themes, including death, individualism, and existentialism, and were often multi-interpretable. His poems were often constructed irregularly, but with individual patterns. Even up till the present day his poetry has remained topical and the subject of what is sometimes fierce discussion. Anwar died in CBZ Hospital, Jakarta, on 28 April 1949; his cause of death is uncertain, with some suggesting typhus and other tuberculosis or syphilis.