Muhammad Salim, the scholar and translator of classical Bugis literature who spent years of his life transliterating and translating Sureq Galigo, the world's longest text (consists of about 300,000 lines), from Bugis into Indonesian and it was his translation that served as the basis and inspiration for the creation of the lyric poem, The Birth of I La Galigo, by Sapardi Djoko Damono. The version then rendered into an equally poetic work in English by John H. McGlynn, a noted American translator. Sapardi Djoko Damono has published more than fifteen poetry anthologies, three volumes of short stories, and a score of nonfiction titles. He has also translated dozens of literary works. John H. McGlynn has translated several dozen publications under his own name, and through the Lontar Foundation, which he co-founded in 1987, has ushered into print close to two hundred books on Indonesian language, literature, and culture. He is the Indonesian country editor for MANOA, a literary journal published by the University of Hawai'i Press; the senior editor for I-Lit, an on-line journal focusing on Indonesian literature in translation; a contributing editor to Words Without Borders and Warscapes, U.S. based literary journals; and an editor advisor for Jurnal Sastra, an Indonesian-language on-line journal. He is also a frequent speaker at seminars both in Indonesia and abroad.
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