Monday, February 04, 2008

on things we’ve done, done well, and done right

Butch Dalisay's Feb 4 Penman column in the Philippine Star on animating literature in our country is an interesting read (full article here). Along the way, he cites "things we’ve done, done well, and done right in the Philippines to promote literature", mentioning big publishers like Anvil, the work of the National Book Development Board, the advocacies of Read Or Die, as well as the success of Carl's Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah and Panitikan. He also talks about new literature:

"This brings me to the emergence and the growing popularity of new kinds of literature in the Philippines—genre fiction, speculative fiction, graphic or comic-book fiction, creative nonfiction, chick lit, performance poetry—all of which offer writers, especially new and young ones, some alternatives to mainstream realism. These genres don’t lack for enthusiastic supporters who will go out of their way to promote their favored schools of writing. One young entrepreneur, Kenneth Yu, took it upon himself to publish the slim but groundbreaking Philippine Genre Stories, now on its fourth issue. A prizewinning novelist, Dean Alfar, leads a group of young writers called Lit Critters, who meet regularly to discuss both local and foreign stories that might help them in their own work. Both Kenneth and Dean have extensive online networks. (And here, the formula seems to be alternative + young + Internet + network.)"

There's a lot of work to be done, true. But I'm happy to note that there are many willing helping hands. Thanks, Butch (of course, Kyu and I are somewhat delighted at being considered 'young' LOL)!

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