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Jul 8, 2015
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Jul 8, 2015

Laksmi Pamuntjak dan Mediokritas

Oleh AS Laksana

Dalam situasi pelik dan karut marut, orang seringkali mengungkap dirinya sendiri. Mereka yang selama ini menampilkan diri sebagai orang bijak dan cendekia, pembela kebebasan bersuara, menghargai sikap kritis dan rajin mendorong orang-orang lain untuk bersikap kritis, bisa seketika menjadi orang-orang yang cepat kalap dan dengan enteng menghakimi para pengkritik sebagai medioker, orang-orang yang dengki, orang-orang jahat dan kasar, dan sebagainya.

Menghadapi yang semacam itu, kita bisa bebas memilih: apakah menunjukkan kehalusan budi pekerti demi membuktikan bahwa mereka keliru atau menjadikan diri lebih kasar dari yang mereka inginkan.

Tapi orang berbuat atau tidak berbuat sesuatu bukan karena mengikuti ucapan orang-orang lain. Charles Darwin tidak akan pernah mengeluarkan teori evolusi sekiranya ia mendengarkan suara orang-orang gereja waktu itu. Dan kita tidak akan pernah berani bersuara jika risau memikirkan apa kata orang.

Sebenarnya saya berhak marah terhadap komentar-komentar sembrono yang menyamakan kritik saya sebagai ekspresi kebencian personal. Itu kedangkalan yang mengerikan. Saya kenal dan berteman baik dengan sejumlah orang di komunitas Salihara. Bagi saya, Salihara adalah komunitas yang menyenangkan. Ia memiliki program rutin dan menawarkan acara-acara yang, bagi saya, banyak yang menarik. Ia menjadikan dirinya tempat di mana pemikiran mendapatkan apresiasi dan dibicarakan dengan takzim. Ia juga memiliki keberanian bahkan untuk mendukung pemikiran dan gerakan yang bagi orang banyak sangat kontorversial. Saya menghormati keberanian yang mereka tunjukkan.

Dengan segala yang dilakukannya, Salihara memikat bagi banyak orang dan saya percaya banyak juga orang yang ingin menjadi bagian dari komunitas tersebut, di samping Salihara sendiri rajin merawat dan memperluas jaringan. Kita tahu, Salihara bukan sekadar gedung pertunjukan. Ia sebuah komunitas—sebuah gerakan yang memiliki tujuan. Karenanya Salihara mengembangkan jaringan dan itu gejala yang sehat. Saya kira hanya makhluk yang sudah putus asa yang tidak merasa perlu mengembangkan dan merawat jaringan.

Salihara bukan makhluk yang putus asa. Maka ia mengembangkan jaringan dan, dengan jaringan yang ia miliki, Salihara bisa menjadi mesin promosi yang sangat baik untuk ide-ide dan apa saja yang ingin mereka promosikan, termasuk buku-buku yang ditulis oleh orang-orang Salihara. Tentu saja tidak semua. Salihara bukan agen pemasaran buku. Nirwan Dewanto menulis dua kumpulan puisi dan orang-orang Salihara tidak membuat gerakan untuk mempromosikan kedua buku Nirwan. Sitok Srengenge menerbitkan kumpulan puisi dan Salihara tidak membuat gerakan promosi untuk buku Sitok. Goenawan Mohamad menerbitkan kumpulan puisi, naskah drama, kumpulan esai, dan Salihara tidak menggunakan jaringannya untuk menggencarkan promosi buku-buku Goenawan Mohamad.

Terhadap novel Laksmi Pamuntjak, jaringan itu bekerja. Pada Oktober 2012, Goenawan Mohamad menulis Catatan Pinggir berjudul “Amba”, sama dengan judul novel Laksmi Pamuntjak yang sedang ia bicarakan dalam kolomnya. Sebentar kemudian, Desember 2012, ia sekali lagi menulis tentang “Amba”, kali ini bersama “Pulang” karya Leila S. Chudori, dalam Catatan Pinggir berjudul “1965”. Bambang Sugiharto segera menyiarkan pujian-pujiannya terhadap novel tersebut, dalam artikelnya di Kompas, dengan menyebut “Amba” sebagai novel “world class”. Sitok Srengenge diminta juga oleh GM untuk menulis tentang Amba—ia menceritakan itu kepada saya—dan ia menulis untuk Tempo. Andy Budiman mewawancarai penulisnya untuk disiarkan di Deutsche Welle, media publik Jerman, tahun 2013.

Di antara kerja-kerja promosi ini tulisan Elya Utama berjudul “Dua Wanita” muncul di harian Kompas, seminggu setelah puji-pujian oleh Bambang Sugiharto. Tulisan ini berupaya menunjukkan kepada pembaca kesamaan-kesamaan antara “Amba” dan “Saman”—baik dalam struktur, plot, diksi, pandangan tokoh-tokohnya, dll. Di ujung tulisannya Elya Utama membuat dugaan-dugaan: (1) penulis “Amba” meniru penulis “Saman”, (2) kedua penulis memiliki latar belakang yang sama dan bekerja bersama-sama, (3) kedua karya sebenarnya karya arsitek yang sama, menggunakan nama yang berbeda-beda.

Itu tulisan yang mengganggu promosi baik tentang Amba. Lalu muncullah “gremang-gremeng” dan spekulasi pada pihak yang jengkel bahwa Elya Utama tidak lain adalah Bre Redana, seolah-olah Bre memiliki motif untuk menjegal “Amba”.

Saya kira tulisan Elya Utama sangat membantu “Amba” dipergunjingkan orang. Saya tergerak untuk membeli novel tersebut dan ikut mengulasnya. Saya juga menyampaikan penilaian-penilaian saya tentang “Amba” ketika majalah Tempo mengundang saya sebagai narasumber ahli pada akhir tahun 2012 untuk menentukan buku sastra terbaik tahun itu. Saya tidak kenal secara pribadi dengan Laksmi Pamuntjak dan tidak memiliki alasan apa pun untuk membencinya dan saya tidak memilih “Amba”. Redaksi majalah Tempo tentu akan menolak keras penilaian saya jika alasan saya adalah, “Saya tidak memilih ‘Amba’ karena saya tidak suka kepada pengarangnya.”

Dengan pertimbangan-pertimbangannya sendiri, narasumber ahli lainnya, Manneke Budiman, juga tidak memilih “Amba”. Demikian pula narasumber ahli ketiga Melani Budianta, profesor sastra UI, yang dihadirkan pada rapat terakhir—ia juga tidak memilih “Amba”.

Leila S. Chudori sependapat dengan saya dan Manneke (pada waktu itu Melani Budianta belum terlibat) untuk tidak memilih “Amba”. Leila duduk persis di sebelah saya dan saya sempat keliru mengambil dan mengenakan kacamatanya, yang ia taruh di atas meja, karena mengira itu kacamata saya. Bingkai kacamata kami ternyata mirip.

Ada beberapa dari awak redaksi Tempo yang menyukai “Amba” dan rapat untuk menentukan buku terbaik berjalan agak alot. Di tengah situasi itu, Leila mengatakan secara tegas agar dirinya dianggap tidak pernah terlibat dalam penjurian jika Tempo memilih “Amba” sebagai buku sastra terbaik tahun 2012. Novel “Pulang” karya Leila tidak dilibatkan dalam penjurian karena Tempo memiliki kebijakan untuk tidak mengikutkan karya orang-orang Tempo di dalam seleksi.

Apakah ada di antara orang-orang bijak itu yang akan mengatakan bahwa Leila S. Chudori membuat penolakan keras karena ia memiliki persoalan pribadi dengan Laksmi Pamuntjak? Silakan saja. Saya tidak akan mendukung ataupun menahan-nahan gairah orang untuk membuat kesimpulan apa pun berkaitan dengan penolakan Leila terhadap “Amba”. Itu masalah mereka sendiri.

Mengenai gerakan mempromosikan teman sendiri, setiap komunitas atau pribadi tidak dilarang melakukannya. Saut Situmorang boleh melakukannya, Goenawan Mohamad boleh melakukannya, Waljinah boleh melakukannya. Saya juga kadang melakukannya. Pernah dalam sebuah forum saya ditanya siapa penulis-penulis Indonesia terbaik menurut saya dan dengan ringan hati saya menjawab: “Teman-teman saya. Semua teman saya adalah penulis terbaik Indonesia.”

Namun, kita tahu, promosi dan pujian yang dilakukan oleh jaringan pertemanan, segencar apa pun, tidak akan membuat sebuah karya yang medioker menjadi bermutu tinggi. Caci maki tanpa alasan juga tidak akan menurunkan mutu sebuah karya—jika karya itu memang benar-benar bermutu. Penjurian di Tempo tahun 2012 itu akhirnya memilih kumpulan puisi Joko Pinurbo sebagai buku terbaik. Bahwa promosi terhadap “Amba” terus dijalankan dan Goenawan Mohamad menggunakan jaringan pertemanannya di luar negeri untuk mempromosikan kehebatan novel tersebut, tidak ada orang yang berhak melarangnya. Sekiranya GM yakin betul bahwa “Amba” adalah novel “world class” sebagaimana kata Bambang Sugiharto, malahan keliru kalau ia tidak menggunakan jaringan teman-temannya di luar negeri untuk mempromosikan buku itu.

Selanjutnya, mari kita dudukkan saja urusan ini dalam cara pandang yang lebih beres: Kritik terhadap kepanitian Guest of Honour FBF 2015 adalah kontrol publik terhadap kegiatan yang dijalankan dan didanai oleh negara. Transparansi diperlukan agar publik bisa melihat dengan terang bahwa yang menjadi tamu kehormatan Frankfurt Book Fair 2015 adalah Indonesia dan bukan kelompok tertentu. Ini krusial karena publik tahu bahwa GM menjadi ketua panitia dan sejumlah orang di dalam jaringannya terlibat dalam kepanitiaan itu. Jauh sebelumnya mereka adalah orang-orang yang mempromosikan Laksmi Pamuntjak. []

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