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Malay Culture

Cerita Pendek (Short Story)

Cerpen, the abbreviation of cerita pendek (short story), is a form short fictional narrative prose that began to develop in the modern era. A short story emerges as its own genre and tends to be less complex than other prose such as novels and hikayat (folklore). The short story is mostly provided in a simple plot, limited character of figure, a single setting, and only covers a short writing. It has a certain topic, moral lesson and specific character of writing that of course, as with any art form, the exact characteristics of it will vary by authors. Writing the short stories is easier and simpler than longer fictional formats, therefore many authors prefer to write them to deliver their own ideas to readers. Other specialties are that the short story has an elastic feature and accommodate rapidly many issues evolving within the society. Due to its specialties and functions, it may be perceived as a work that illustrates the condition of the society where it is written. Because of its short length, the demand of its quality is so great. A good short story is determined by proper word and sentence, strong and accurate statements that are undoubtedly needed to obtain its goal. Historically, in old Malay literature, such story-writing tradition had been recognized in 1865, most notably with Haji Ibrahim from Penyengat Sultanate, Riau, Indonesia. But in the meantime, the short story got less attention from poets and readers than other literary works such as poem, long tale (hikayat), and poetry, so that it did not develop significantly. At the beginning of the 20th century, the short story developed and became a notable literary work until this present time.
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