Penulis/Author: Andrei Aksana (2004)
Cetakan/Edition: II, Agustus 2005
Homosexualism used to be (or still is? I am not sure) a taboo topic on public places. As part of our eastern culture, things like sex and homosexualism should be discussed in whispers to avoid drawing the negative judgments and raising the eyebrows of the older generations.
Being lived in a foreign country didn’t stop me from knowing that there are some striking novels have been published in Indonesia thanks to some book blogs like Kupunyabuku and Perca. One that came our rather phenomenal was Andrei Aksana with novel “Lelaki Terindah” translated as “The Most Beautiful Man” which took the theme of gay love story.
On my curiousity, me -being a closed minded person when it comes to love- found that this novel is actually acceptable. There is nothing vulgar which typically is associated with such theme. Just like many others, this is simply a love story.
The novel is written as if Andrei is telling a story of another person, Rafky, a tall, handsome and manly guy who never thought would fall in love deeply to another guy, Valent, a soft-spoken dandy person who isn’t so physically strong as Rafky.
The centre of the story is about Rafky’s struggle to make his relationship with Valent to be acceptable amid the strong rejections from both their families and girlfriends. The situation becomes more emotional due to Valent’s medical condition which grew worse with the pressure of being forced to separated from his only love. In the end, what matters the most is happiness, because that will be the last thing we remember, the only thing we want to cherish. There’s no right and wrong when it comes to love and anyone has their own right and priviledge to love anyone else, regardless their gender.
Andrei’s guts to explore on this theme deserves a thumb up. His writing and words elaborating skills deserve another merit for its superiority. The novel came out poetic, dramatic and modern; a fresh contribution to the Indonesian literature. The whole package is great with soft papers and luxurious cover design. Just my humble opinion, Andrei should stick with writing as I wasn’t that impressed with the sound of the CD bonus. A nice marketing packet though ;)