Atheis has ratings and reviews. Missy J said: I’m still trying to make sense of what I just read. Atheis (obviously means atheist in Engl. Title, Atheis Volume 1 of Asian and Pacific writing · UNESCO collection of representative works: Indonesian series. Author, Achdiat Karta Mihardja. Publisher. Issue of Seri BP. Author, Achdiat Karta Mihardja. Edition, reprint. Publisher, Balai Pustaka, ISBN, , Length, pages.

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The novel, using three narrative voicesdetails the rise and fall of Hasan, a young Muslim mihareja is raised to be religious but winds up doubting his faith after dealings with his Marxist—Leninist childhood friend and an anarcho-nihilist writer.

The Atheist

Mihardja, a journalist-cum-literary editor who associated with the eccentric poet Chairil Anwar and the Socialist Party of Indonesiawrote Atheis from May to February The Indonesian used in the novel was influenced by Sundanese and harkens back to earlier works by Minang writers, as opposed to Mihardja’s contemporaries who attempted to distance themselves from the earlier style.

Dealing mainly with faith, the novel also touches on the interactions between modernity and traditionalism. Although the writer insisted that the work was meant to be realisticsymbolic representations from subjective meanings to the novel being an allegory have been advanced.

After the novel was published, it caused considerable discussion. Religious thinkers, Marxist-Leninists, and anarchists decried the novel for not explaining their ahcdiat in more detail, but literary figures and many in the general public praised it; this positive reception may have been influenced by the nascent government’s need to promote literature for nation-building.

Atheis was translated into Malay before and into English in ; it was also adapted into a film with the same title in The plot of Atheis is non-linear.

Teeuwa Dutch scholar of Indonesian literaturemodels it as below, with A representing the time frame covered in Hasan’s manuscript from his youth until splitting with KartiniB representing the time frame in mihadrja the narrator miardja with Hasan and receives his manuscript, and C representing the events around Hasan’s death. Hasan, born to a religious Naqshbandi family in Panyeredan, is a student atyeis lives with his family and adopted sister, Fatimah.

After finishing his schooling, Hasan attempts to propose marriage to his classmate, Rukmini. However, Minardja, who is from a higher social class than him, is set to marry a rich man mlhardja Batavia modern day Jakarta. Instead, his parents ask him to marry Fatimah. Hasan refuses, then devotes himself to studying Islam with his father. In the early s he moves to Bandung to work as a civil servant. Mihardna Bandung, Hasan works for the Japanese occupation government and lives an ascetic lifestyle, often fasting for days on end and dunking himself into a river to refresh his body between evening and morning prayers.

Atheis by Achdiat K. Mihardja

While there, he meets his childhood friend Rusli, who introduces Hasan to his friend Kartini. However, he finds himself unable to address Rusli’s arguments against religion and begins doubting his faith. Soon Hasan becomes increasingly divorced from his religious mhardja, at one time skipping the mandatory maghrib prayer to watch a movie with Kartini.

Through Rusli, Hasan is introduced to people from different ideologies, including the anarcho-nihilist playboy Anwar; he also begins courting Kartini. One day, he returns to Panyeredan to visit his family with Anwar. While there, Anwar sees some night watchmen quivering in fear near a cemetery. When told that they had seen a ghost, Anwar enters the cemetery with Hasan to disprove its existence. However, Hasan thinks he sees a ghost and runs away frightened. When ridiculed for this by Anwar, Hasan’s faith is broken.


This leads him to have a large fight with his family about their Islamic faith, which results in Hasan’s family disowning him. Upon his return to Bandung, Hasan marries Kartini. Three years later, Hasan’s relationship with Kartini is souring; both are suspicious that the other is unfaithful.

Eventually, Hasan sees Kartini and Anwar leaving a hotel near the train station and incorrectly assumes that she had been cheating on him. He immediately divorces her and moves out, but soon contracts tuberculosis. After several weeks, Hasan returns to Panyeredan after hearing that his father is ill to work out their issues.

However, his father rejects him as a temptation from the devil. Dejected, Hasan returns to Bandung. As his health continues to degrade, Hasan approaches a local journalist with a manuscript that details his life; the journalist agrees to publish it should something happen to Hasan. Not long afterwards, Hasan goes out into the night after curfew and is shot in the chest by Japanese patrols, dying after torture at the station with the Islamic creed ” Allahu Akbar ” on his lips.

Later, Rusli and a tearful Kartini claim his body. Mihardja, who was born and raised in GarutWest Javawas trained as a journalist [12] before moving to Batavia in to work for the state publisher of the Dutch East IndiesBalai Pustaka.

While in Batavia, in he began associating with Chairil Anwar ‘s literary group Republika. Atheis was Mihardja’s first novel; what few literary works he had written beforehand were mostly short stories and dramas, both those intended for the radio and the stage.

His writing style was heavily influenced by that of Gide, particularly as aachdiat in The Immoralist Malay, the language which forms the basis of modern Indonesian, was not Mihardja’s native language; his earlier works had all been in Sundaneseand Mihardja had only begun regularly using Indonesian after the Japanese occupation —when he became a translator.

The inspiration for Atheis came, according to Oemarjati, sometime during the early s. Atheis uses three narrative voices avhdiat, the first Achdit novel to do so.

Afterwards, the narrator, referred to only as “saya”, describes in the first person how he met Hasan and how the main character came to tell him his life’s story. This is followed by what is described by the original narrator as a manuscript by Hasan, which tells Hasan’s life story from his own point of view using the less respectful term “aku”.

After a brief recollection of the narrator’s last meeting with Hasan in the first person, using “saya”, the last portion of the book describes Hasan’s death in the third person omniscient.

Teeuw writes that the literary style is didacticwhich he considers the novel’s main shortcoming. However, he notes that Mihardja was part of a literary movement led by Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana that viewed literature as being instructive; he also writes that such a style was common in Indonesian literature at the time.

The diction in the novel shows a heavy Sundanese influence, including many loan-words. Teeuw describes the diction as forced in places, with sentence structure deviating from those used by the Minang writers who dominated that period’s Indonesian literature. According to Teeuw, this is because Mihardja had been raised speaking both Sundanese and Dutch; as such, his Indonesian was not as well developed as Minang writers or those younger than him.


Mihardja later wrote that he intended the novel to deal with the question of the existence of God. Despite Mihardja’s insistence that Atheis is meant to be realistic, several symbolic interpretations have been put forward.

According to Mihardja, one of the most common interpretations readers conveyed to him was that Hasan’s death symbolised atheism defeating religion, with Hasan’s death as the death of theism. Hasan, representing traditionalism, is killed by the Japanese, who changed the status quo when they invaded in Meanwhile, the anarchistic Anwar finds himself without a place in the modern world. Only the responsible modern character, Rusli, is able to bring the Indonesian nation, as represented by Kartini, to terms with the new world.

Atheis was published in by Balai Pustaka, which had become the state publisher of independent Indonesia. A third printing, which had several revisions to improve the flow of the story, was published in According to Teeuw, after the publication of Atheis Mihardja immediately became famous.

These qualities were in-line with the nascent government’s need to use literature, as the most developed of the new national culture, for nation-building ; [30] inAtheis received a literary award from the government of Indonesia. According to Mihardja, religious thinkers blasted the novel for depicting Hasan, whom they interpreted as representative of religion and religious people, as unable to overcome temptation; they also disliked the novel’s lack of in-depth discussion of religion, necessary for a better understanding of theism.

Author Ahmad Tohari describes Atheis as a “timeless monument of Indonesian literature”, [a] emphasising its ability to represent the social factors dominant in Indonesian society at the time of writing.

By the s Atheis had become part of the Indonesian junior and senior high school curriculum. Ultimately, the Indonesian censorship bureau passed the film after several cuts. Mihardja went on to write two more novels: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Atheis Cover of the 32nd printing.

Archived from the original on 5 November Retrieved 5 Miharvja Archived from the original on 4 March Retrieved 4 March Handbuch der Orientalistik [ Handbook of Orientalistics ].

Djamin, Nasjah; LaJoubert, Monique Retrieved 30 September Mihardja’s Novel Atheis “. Identity in Asian literature.

Studies on Asian topics. Atheis [ Atheist ] in Indonesian. Why and How I Write ] in Indonesian. Monteiro, Olin 27 March Siregar, Reza Yamora December Journal of Economic Development.

Archived PDF from the original on 6 November Retrieved 6 November Rusdi, Hamid 22 January Suara Karya in Indonesian. Archived PDF from the original on 5 November Berita Yudha in Indonesian. Yampolsky, Tinuk 15 April Poet of a Generation”. The Autobiography of Arai Hakuseki c.

Pather Panchali Jagari Configurations Men of Maize Theatre of the Mind Retrieved from ” https: Good articles Pages to import images to Wikidata Articles containing potentially dated statements from All articles containing potentially dated statements CS1 Indonesian-language sources id CS1 French-language sources fr. Views Read Edit View history.