you're reading
Literary Criticism

The Relevance of Studying Philippine Literature in English

As we have learned in Philippine history, apart from superior arms to subdue the true revolutionaries who waged a continuing war against colonial rule, the Americans used education, propagated the English language and lifestyle. In effect, this changed the milieu of literary production as the English language became the standard for what is canon.

Many important things can be learned in the study of Philippine literature in English. Studying Philippine literature in English is important because these are reflections of history. Works of art and literature are not separate from history. In fact, these are intricately intertwined along with the contradictions in the society in a given point in time. Works of art and literature do not stand by themselves. Writers and artists are not creators who fashion words and works. These texts and pieces of art are products of the political institutions and ideological stance of the writers which are shaped by the social conditions.

In essence, the study of Philippine literature in English aids us in historicizing texts. Furthermore, it also allows us to think of the extent of American influence through the use of their language. Obviously, our willing appropriation of their language during the time of the American colonial period affects the present generation and the formulation of the canon of Philippine literature in English. Even the past generations of literati together with the current prominent writers bring along with them the English language and its ideology. However, it is also wrong to discount the writers and intellectuals who use the English language in order to subvert the ideology it carries.

Studying Philippine literature in English gives us a brief and fleeting landscape of the literary milieu since after the World War II. We should also consider those writers who went against American domination in education. These writers carry with them an ideology that is anti-colonial and therefore, an assertion of genuine nationalism. Nationalism has different manifestations in different periods in history. The true affirmation of nationalism during the American colonial period is the seeking of genuine freedom and democracy.

The assertion of nationalism depends on the ideology of the class, group or person who is voicing it out. Many times, our people have always been deceived by the ruling class since they limit the assertion of nationalism through emotional and subjective means. Putting one’s hand over the heart and singing the National Anthem with tears is not enough if one doesn’t do anything to alleviate the poorest of the poor who comprise the majority of our population. These are reflected in works that may or may not be written in the English language. These are in texts whose authors’ names we hardly know but nonetheless, these writers knew where they stood, and that is for the broad masses.

About imakulit

restless. independent. rock music and classical music, third world poetry and literature, theory and criticism, beaches, sunsets, wide open spaces, sports and running, laughter, art, and photography sustain me. i love to travel alone. it's the best way to get lost in the labyrinth of my thoughts.

Discussion

One thought on “The Relevance of Studying Philippine Literature in English

  1. This actually answered my drawback, thank you! adegefkckdfa

    Posted by Johnf28 | September 5, 2014, 16:32

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

RSS Pinoy Weekly

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Philippine Daily Inquirer

  • Palace: Pursuit of justice for Laude continues despite US witnesses’ departure October 21, 2014
    MANILA, Philippines -- Malacaang on Tuesday reiterated its promise to bring justice to murder victim Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude, a day after it was revealed that four American witnesses were allowed to leave the country.   "Patuloy na itinataguyod ng pamahalaan ang pagkamit ng hustisya sa kasong pagpaslang kay Jennifer Laude," Communication […]

RSS CNN Top Stories

RSS National Geographic News

RSS The Economist: Finance and Economics

  • Chinese debt: A moral deficit October 16, 2014
    WEIGHED down by debt and running out of cash, Chaori Solar emerged this year as an unlikely poster child for all that was going right with the Chinese economy—because it was allowed to go under. China’s leaders had vowed to bring market discipline to a financial system that had grown lazy in its dependence on ever more credit. Chaori, the first company to de […]

RSS The Economist: Books and Arts

  • History of fashion: Nonparelli October 16, 2014
    Save your soles Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography. By Meryle Secrest. Knopf; 363 pages; $35. Penguin; £25. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk“AS A child Schiap was definitely difficult,” Elsa Schiaparelli wrote in 1954 in the opening chapter of her auto-biography “Shocking Life”. In fact, she continued, “she still is.” As Meryle Secrest, the author of a new life […]

RSS Asian Correspondent

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: