An ethnographic study of Jakarta, derived from the author's interviews with the city's elderly residents.
Preface: Promenades ix
Technical Note xv
1. Bypasss and Flyovers 1
2. The Walls 25
3. The Fences 73
4. The Classroom 125
5. The Window 187
Postscript. Sometimes Voices 235
Rudolf Mrazek is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He is the author of several books, including Engineers of Happy Land: Technology and Nationalism in a Colony; Sjahrir: Politics and Exile in Indonesia, 1906-1966; and Bali: The Split Gate to Heaven.
"...a subtle, layered, and subversive book, with its deep reflections on the powers of memory and the interpenetrations of past and present. Mrazek has achieved what very few academics are capable of: in recording his encounters with these remarkable Indonesians, he has incidentally inscribed in these pages a most endearing portrait of himself. Read it, whether or not you already have any addiction to Indonesia, or to life stories." - Roxana Waterson, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, August 2012 "In this original and very exciting work Rudolf Mrazek offers a stimulating way of thinking about historiography and a radical departure from the ways 'we in the field' are used to thinking and talking about the history of Indonesia. A rich text, resistant to generalizations, A Certain Age is evocative, moving, personal, disruptive, and subversive. It is a must-read." - Henk Maier, author of We Are Playing Relatives "By juxtaposing Indonesian and European voices, Rudolf Mrazek compels us to reconsider the unsettling origins and effects of modernity in the colony and metropole alike. In his nuanced, brilliantly edited interviews, aging urban revolutionaries remember the past amid and in relation to the noise of the street and the neighborhood, the music of salons and cinemas, the stuttering bursts of translations and trains, and the routine hum of the prison camp and the classroom. They convey the force of a history that remains bound to--yet is not reducible to--narration and analysis." - Vicente L. Rafael, author of The Promise of the Foreign