Soas University Senior Lecturer Soe Tjen Marching Opens Up About Creative Writing at Public Lecture of Indonesian Language and Literature Education Study Program

Senior Lecturer at the Department of Language and Culture, SOAS University of London, Soe Tjen Marching was the speaker “Creative Process of Literary Works” at the public lecture of the Indonesian Language and Literature Education Study Program FPBS UPI which was held in the Auditorium FPBS UPI Lt. 4 and Zoom Meeting room attended by Lecturers and Students of Indonesian Language and Literature Education, Thursday morning (6/4/2023).

Besides being known as a lecturer, Soe Tjen Marching is a writer and composer who has often won awards in his career. One of them, namely in 2010 his musical work won the international avant-garde competition held in Singapore. Soe Tjen Marching can be said to be a complete writer because he has works in the form of prose and poetry. There are three novels and one poetry collection that he published, namely: Mati Bertahun yang lalu, Kubunuh di Sini, dan Dari Dalam Kubur and his poetry collection Tiga Kitab.

The creative process of literary works is related to how a writer achieves originality in his work. The discovery of a technique or style in packaging a discourse is the fruit of a writer’s hard work in exploring his own experience. If a writer is accustomed to exploring a technique or style, then it is possible to create novelty that can be accepted by the public.

“There is one disease that often plagues writers in creating works, which is imitation. Imitation will only lead a writer to become someone he imitates, for example Hamka. So, when this happens, the writer does not show his novelty and does not even show himself in his work,” concluded the Senior Lecturer who recently published the poetry book “Tiga Kitab”.

Through the public lecture, sincerity and hard work in the creative process are very important in order to create good writing. Humans are created with different mindsets; thus, personal experiences can lead writers to find their uniqueness in writing. In addition, writers must also have a lot of references and be active in analyzing and exploring techniques and styles obtained from other writers.

In the middle of the public lecture, Soe Tjen Marching performed a poem that he thought was smart and out of the box.  Namely, as follows:

I still deserve love
Because no matter what
I am not good enough to be loved
And I am in no position to believe that
Beauty does exist within me
Because whenever I look in the mirror I always think
Am I as ugly as people say?
Now read the same words, but bottom up.
(Prety Ugly, Abdullah Shoaib)

Through the excerpt of the poem above, we can see a simple poem that questions whether the lyric me is really ugly. However, at the end of the line there is a suggestion to read it from bottom to top. There is a new concept in the poem where one poem can encapsulate two different meanings that can be reached by two different ways of reading.

In addition, he showed poems written by himself, one of which was about a woman watching her son being slaughtered by her own husband. In the poem, it can be seen that Soe Tjen Marching wanted to try to witness an event taken from a book through a woman’s point of view. A poem that is an allegory of the prophet Ibrahim in Islam and Abraham in Christianity presents a new experience in witnessing the event very emotionally.

The activity ended with a question-and-answer session from the participants present, as well as handing over certificates to Soe Tjen Marching as a speaker and closed with a group photo.