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Monday May 1st 2017

‘Pélét’: A Short Stories Anthology

Literature | Sunday, September 9th, 2012 | sundanesecorner.org

Hawé Setiawan

‘Pelet’ (Photograph: Hawé Setiawan)

Pélét is a kind of periodical that specifically publishes short stories. Its editors, i.e. Ki Umbara (Wiredja Ranusulaksana, 1933-2004) and Ermas (Rahmat Marta Adisubrata, 1930-2008?), called this publication a ‘short stories collection,’ dedicated to the readers as an ‘entertainment periodical.’ Even though it was published serially, the editors didn’t name it magazine, partly because the publication period was not fixed. This periodical was published in 1966-1967. As far as my personal documentation is concerned, there were twelve issues of this publication, which was dated from March 1966 to May 1967. The publisher was C.V. Pusaka Sunda at Jl. Veteran 71  D-E, Bandung, West Java. The motto of this periodical reads matja, matjul, matjakal ‘reading, cultivating, working (independently)’. One of the meanings of the word pélét, according to Hardjadibrata’s Sundanese-English Dictionary (2003), is ‘to cast a spell.’ In their introduction to the first issue, as if casting a spell, the editors espressed their expectation in a poetical form of asihan that reads as follows:

Asihan aing Si Daluang-Putih,

sasoék mangka sing daék,

salambar mangka sing hajang,

seuweu santri mangka asih,

rajat réa mangka njaah,

gegedén mangka ngaranéh,

sing katungkus sing kakandung,

kabeulit ku sukma aing,

hiap aing tuturkeun!

In each of its issue, this tiny periodical of 14 X 20 cm presents stories in less that 40 pages. For it dedicated its concern to literary works, in its advertisement, Pélét was described as a ‘periodical that has never gone stale.’ It is illustrated with several nice drawings by Kadarisman, Basuki, and some other illustrators. It published stories by M.A. Salmun, Ki Umbara, S.A. Hikmat, Djohar Efsa (tha father of writer Nita Widiati Efsa), Rukmana H.S., Ningrum Djulaéha, Saini K.M., Muh. Hidajat, Aam Amilia, Hajati, Us Tiarsa, Budhi Darma, and many others. The editors, through the page that was called as ‘Babalagonjangan’, regularly invited readers to select the best stories of every issue by means of postcards. Since 1967 this periodical seems to have never been published again.***

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