Friday, September 10, 2004

knifing krip

I know. Such a provocative title.

But in the continuing drama currently enthralling the literary world and other couch potatoes with regards the Manila Critics Circle and the National Book Awards, it seems that it is Krip Yuson's turn at the stake.

Angas ng Kurimaw writes: this country, one’s position as a poet is valorized at times not by the inherent quality of one’s work but by mere conferment given by your own
circle of confreres.

Yuson’s logocentrism which stems from the cult of veneration generated by those who are in agreement with and those who sanctify his New Criticism aesthetics. It is a position sustained by existing schools in creative writing from Baguio to Silliman and fortified by existing literary modes of production. So can we blame him if he uses such power to impose upon us that this is poetry and this is not, and that this is children’s literature and this is not? Not so, for his social being in our collective consciousness has been defined by this very social system which privileges his mode of thinking over those of the rest of us which unfortunately sometimes insist on intention as art.

And so till then, Yuson remains where he is now. The laws of physics say that no two matter can occupy the same space at the same time. That position which defines Philippine literature, or more specifically, writing in English, along the lines delineated by Yuson and his literary barkada (Gemino Abad, Edith Tiempo, etc.) is occupied, for now, by these personalities. In time, they, along with Yuson, will
be dislodged.

One night, I dreamt of knives, and writers and peoples from all walks of life were using these to stab Yuson and company’s poetry to death.

There you go.

In the mailing list that this blog entry was first posted, it was followed by the usual defender/accuser fandango, spilling out into issues like freedom of speech versus speaking our responsibly (because of the very visually-monikered spinning kulangot's anonymity.

So in the past couple of weeks, we've questioned the definitions, relevance and worthiness of Chick Lit and Young Adult Fiction, Comic Books and Grafiction, and now, Poetry.

There's still a lot of ground to cover (personally, I'm rooting for the Play, Novel and Short Story categories myself).

Isn't it wonderful that we Filipinos, as a people, take our reading so seriously? :)


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