The world has taught us to be useful, even in the most simple way. What I have done in the
last fifty years is very simple, very easy. It very easy. It could have been done and can
be done by anyone else, man or woman, r woman, adult or child. I have only been collecting
other people's works, keeping, keeping them and, as far as I am able, sharing my
perceptions of them.
Literary documentation, according to me, is a kind of album, a collection of thoughts,
aspirations of human conscience. I have spent almost all of my life happily collecting
such, rather like a small child gathering different kinds of leaves in a beautiful forest,
before they are blown away by the wind.
A journalist asked me one day "Can a pretty petal make the whole flower
beautiful?" My answer was that everything under the sun has its place in the degrees
of beauty. As for me, even though not all seems to me beautiful, I have no heart to
discard anything I always see a pearl somewhere. Literary pearls touch human souls and
help us to understand one another. As long as I can collect them, keep them and write
about them, I will continue to do so.
Today the work that has made me happy for years has been acclaimed a valuable asset and it
has enabled me to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award. This award is an honor, recognized by
those who love simplicity, freedom and peace, especially in Asia.
I have said that literary documentation is collecting human aspirations. By bestowing this
prize for such work, the Foundation, in the name of the noble Ramon Magsaysay, has honored
The Center for Literary Documentation which I established is not my personal possession.
It is for everyone, especially for lovers of literature.
Like leaves which can not be differentiated politically, literature as human conscience is
the universal language of mankind. It should not be labelled by nationality or political
So, on behalf of all lovers of literature, on behalf of all writers and poets whose works
now fill the H.B. Jassin Center for Literary Documentation and who have thus enabled me to
be honored as a public servant, I herewith accept the Ramon Magsaysay Award, humbly and
I believe that the Award will help people realize that the world of literature is very
rich and includes the literature of Indonesia