Saturday, August 05, 2006

Requiem: Muling Pagsuka

The misuse of language induces evil in the soul - Socrates

When i can't find words to express what i feel, or rather, when others' are more beautiful, more meaningful, than anything i could come up with, i resort to quotations, pastiche.

My apologies (and utmost thanks) to these women (and men!) for expressing their thoughts with exquisite clarity.

What follow is a year (approximately) in quotes:

Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them--
Thoughts gone dim.
It is more natural to me, lying down.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation


Virgin ka pa ba? –Kuya x, a cameraman

…the clouds were billowing, as if flexing for a muscular storm –Harrington

She caught his eye first by the stillness of her waiting…he didn’t know if she was beautiful. He only knew that her beauty hit him like an explosion. -Voight

Must you seize my world by storm? –Alexander

Tolstoy: Happy marriages are all the same, but unhappy ones are each different.
Jeff: Maybe that’s why being unhappy is more interesting.

Our fragmented soundbite media tears us away from the creative attention we need to focus on ourselves and on the world –Winterson

..when people flatter you constantly, it is tempting to think you deserve it. – Reichl

He’s a dinosaur. – my sister, on Gallo

You can tell dinosaur bones from rocks by licking them. –Newsweek

Power revels in first making itself manifest –Soyinka

It is the invisible that sustains the visible – de Quiros

Spirituality is not piety but rather, what gives you life and meaning to your life. –Alejo (I never thought I’d be quoting a catholic priest!)

Rizal’s dilemma consisted of the painful but necessary task of having to choose between violent commitment to the Revolution and the slow road to agitation for reforms within the social order. It is necessarily the dilemma of a liberal… - Teodoro

life as reflected in works of art and literature and art ought to be on a higher plane, more intense, more concentrated, more typical, nearer the ideal, and therefore more universal than actual everyday life - Mao Tse Tung

Hindi ba pinapatay yung mga nasa PCIJ? -Papa

No matter how advanced technology becomes, there will always be a need for human intervention –Versola (paraphrased from memory)

Nakita kita tumanda sa Kule at masaya ako sa narating mo.
Mahirap talaga malagas ang balat na kinalakihan natin. (Maniwala ka, pinanggalingan ko yan. :)) Alam mo na ngayon ang dapat gawin, hanapin na lang ang paraan para mailabas ito.

-a friend, written on the very last page of my copy of the Kule folio

and on the front page (from yet another friend)

Sabi ni leonard cohen, "puking clears the soul." and ours is a world ng walang-hanggang pagsusuka. :) tuloy (squared) ha?

She lifted her shoulders and squared them, to take up again the burden


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Reading List or Lost in Translation*

It bothers me, that I'm not reading enough Filipino authors, not enough in Filipino, about Filipinos. In the past few weeks, only Bulosan's America is in the Heart, assorted blogs, articles in this year's Kule.

Somehow, other newspapers don't count.

Waiting in my bookshelf is a cheap copy of PSR, and a canon of the best Philippine short stories in English.

I tried to read Umbrella Country, but I couldn't stomach it. The country Realuyo describes exists only in his memories, while characters like Boy Spit come to life only as an awkward translation.

Huntington writes that after former colonies gained their independence, elites prized fluency in English, French or another Western language in order to distinguish them from the common people of their society.

"As a result, elites of non-Western societies are often better able to communicate with Westerners and with each other that with people of their own society (a situation like that in the West in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when aristocrats form different countries could easily communicate in French with each other but could not speak the vernacular of their own country)."

Reminds me of a lot of people. Far too may, in fact.

Ten years after we came back form the States, I still think, dream and write. In English.

I love the language, love the words, phrases and sentences that flow from my fingertips. I love it -- even as I revile what continues to set me apart.

*with apologies to Sofia Coppola