Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
BAT Paper Rizal Conf 2011-V 04

BAT Paper Rizal Conf 2011-V 04

Ratings:
(0)
|Views: 4|Likes:
Published by thepocnews

More info:

Published by: thepocnews on Aug 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/11/2011

pdf

text

original

 
Title:
RIZAL’S NOVELS AS LITERATURE.
Author:
Beatriz Álvarez Tardío.
<beatriztardio@hotmail.com>Prepared for:
Sesquicentennial Conference“Rizal in the 21st Century: Local and Global Perspectives”University of the Philippines, DilimanJune 22-24, 2011.
AbstractThe aim of this paper is to achieve a literary appreciation to the
Noli 
and the
Fili 
, inview of their literary context. Rizal’s two novels have been primarily studied throughthe looking glass of history, often neglecting them as literary works in their own right.This paper attempts to remedy this lacunae by two means: pointing to their narrativetradition and context; and the literary background of Rizal himself. It will provide thebasis for a literary approach and evaluation of Rizal’s principal literary works. Itfocusses on the 17th century and the French Classicism, and will show how Rizal readsthe Moralist writers of the French Classicism to find in them inspiration, materials, andinfluences for the style and structure of his novels. This appreciation will be guided bytheir intertextuality with the work of La Bruyère,
Characters
.***
Introduction: A genealogy.
National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin may have written a lot about José Rizal
1
, butin this paper, I would like to recapture his words on the novels in an article of hispublished in 1951
2
:“Forget all the solemn nonsense your school teachers and professional patriotshave said about these books. Discover them for yourself. .. Read them forlaughs and, I assure you, you’ll find them great fun.” (20)
1
José Rizal published in 1887 his first novel
Noli me tangere
, known as the
Noli 
, and in 1891 the sequel
El Filibusterismo
, known as the
Fili 
.
2
Joaquin, Nick. “The novels of Rizal”, in
The Philippines Quarterly 
. Vol. I No. 3 Dec. 1951, pages 17-20.
 
RIZAL’S NOVELS AS LITERATURE. Beatriz Álvarez Tardío.
2
2Whether we agree with Joaquin’s style to call for a reading of the novels as literatureor not, the basis of his plea may still apply today.About fifty years later, in the second semester of the school year 1998-1999, I startedteaching a subject on European Literature entitled “The Literary Context of the
Noli 
 and the
Fili 
3
at the English Department of the Ateneo de Manila University.For the students, reading the novels of Rizal alongside other literary works was a newexperience. Rizal had read the chief authors of the Spanish Baroque, the FrenchClassicism and the Enlightenment, the German Romantics, among other works, andthis particular factor wrapped up the act of reading his novels in a cozy atmospherethat itself helped us to enjoy the novels.Later on, I taught a very similar course as a comparative literature class at theUniversity of the Philippines
4
. At first, students reacted to the idea of having to takequizzes about the
Noli 
and the
Fili 
, but were amazed at the kind of questions they hadto answer. As we were discussing other authors and reading Rizal’s novels at the sametime, the students discovered topics for a debate about the literary qualities of thenovels from the details of the quizzes.I would like to remember here the most enthusiastic among the students who, beingalready a senior citizen, enrolled in the class for the pleasure of reading Rizal withoutall the ideological coatings. It was thanks to the Jesuit scholar Father Miguel A. Bernadthat he knew about the course for, he explained, Father Bernad had written a column:“Taking Rizal’s novels seriously
5
.” It is in their memory I would like to dedicate thislecture.During this course, the students and I discovered for ourselves what Joaquin broughtto the fore in that article, saying that “[his works] are first-rate comic novels – fast,funny and outrageous – novels,” and what Rizal did “has bite, . . . fun, and –mostimportant of all - . . . audacity.” (17)The most important observation in Joaquin’s article is his recognition of the artistry of the author, his management of storytelling, the astonishment at the unfolding of events, and the use of narrative techniques--all of which are elements of literature.So, the first important step was to place the novels in a course about literature. In thisway, the parameters of analysis were clearly those common to literature. The secondrelevant condition was to read the novels in the context of other literary works, hopingthat in this way, all comparisons in our minds will tend to understand the novels withinliterary trends, writing styles, literary structures, artistic movements, etc.Rizal as a writer did his preparations, read, and studied different sources to strengthenhis ideas for the novels, to have materials and clay to give them shape, to draw hischaracters and stories, and to provide foundations for the characters. The literarycontext of both novels is mainly the European literature of his time and of an earliertime.
3
It was also offered in the 2nd semester 1999-2000, and in the following 2nd semester 2000-2001.
4
Department of English and Comparative Literature, CL134, 1st semester 2000-2001; 2nd semester2001-2002.
5
 
The Philippine Star 
, Monday, June 19, 2000
 
RIZAL’S NOVELS AS LITERATURE. Beatriz Álvarez Tardío.
3
3His works respond to the European tradition of the novel through a dialogue whereinthe novels re-write that tradition, for Rizal was a writer with a theory about the novel,and he had mastered the strategies of the genre in order to make his own creation
6
.Thus Rizal revises and renovates that literary tradition.During the courses, we documented our literary study of the novels searching throughRizal’s readings and quotations
7
. We read several works, as we did a parallel reading of Rizal’s novels, thus we could discuss, observe and notice crossing points – interestingelements to deepen our literary knowledge of the novels. Some of the course readingsincluded Cervantes, Jean de La Bruyère, Jonathan Swift, Voltaire, Jean Paul, Schiller,Larra, Manzoni, Pushkin, Galdós, Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola. In this paper, we will focuson a less known theme, Jean de La Bruyére and his work
Characters
, the 17
th
centuryFrench Classicism, and the Moralist writers.***
Between good sense and good taste there lies the difference between a causeand its effect.” 
“Of Opinions” (56) Jean de La Bruyère,
Characters
 The
Characters
of La Bruyère (1645-1696)
is a masterpiece of social criticism in Frenchliterature in a period when it was unthinkable that a writer would engage in suchcriticism of the established order, the absolute rule of Louis XIV, portrayed as a figureof classical antiquity: he was Apollo, or the Sun King
8
.La Bruyère together with Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, and La Fontaine is one of thewriters known as the "Moralist Writers.” Their writing extended through a periodknown as French Classicism whose aesthetics “prescribed the conjoining of the usefulwith the pleasant”
9
.Moralist writers studied 'morals' in the sense of customs and manners. Their aim wasto analyze and portray the human condition and psychology in their most universaland timeless aspects. They applied Descartes' method: a 'geometric method' of discovering truth by progressive and rational deduction, to the area of human ethics,psychology and morals.
6
Currently, I am preparing a collection of essays where I discuss the outputs of my research of Rizal'snovels from a literary perspective. This paper is the first and still a work in progress, so comments andsuggestions are welcome.
7
I would like to thank the students who helped me with this documentation process.
8
References to La Bruyère
Characters
translated by Henri Van Laun with an introduction by Denys. C.Potts (Oxford UP, 1963).
9
Hollier, Denis. (1989)
 A New History of French Literature
. Harvard University Press. p. 327

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->