August 28, 2006

In essence, literary practice is a subject-object dialectic between writer-reader, writer-milieu, and reader-milieu. That is why there is such a thing as literary aesthetics. Writer-reader preferences being a convention borne out of ‘historical contingency’. 

For instance, a literary artist may fail to gain approval in an institution where literary ignorance is prevalent. Or to invert it, a country enmeshed in non-literary preoccupations such as popular noontime shows may avoid literary discussions.

There is a notion that poetry sections in magazines are avoided by Filipinos. That is why we have very few of them in number.

But it is still a subject-object dialectic. For one, my subjectivity may just be further challenged by this set-up making me write more poems, more and more, in order to throw them right in the face of oblivion. The act itself is already ironic, much more, poetic.

That is why we woke up from sleep and started sending poems to magazines again. Thirteen days after we sent it, our short poem ‘Walang Lambat ang Hiningang Malalim’ saw print in the August 27 issue of Philippine Panorama.

Of course, thanks to the maiden who inspired us. And the poetry editor, Cirilo F. Bautista.


4 Responses to “PANORAMA, Aug, 27”

  1. Donnabee said

    Literary ignorance… a very mocking word; something that I will probably think about overnight as I make yet another artwork, whether a musical piece, beadwork or essay.

    I don’t think this society has taken aside the “literary practice”. It’s just that they have “evolved” in form. They have taken life in music. We have to admit that the print has a limited time and audience. After some time, people tend to pile them up in nooks. But music has a staying power. It can even achieve immortality… something that artists find tempting, I’m sure.

  2. hagbayon said

    We have to consider the ‘politics of the possible’. Written literary arts and organic oral tradition are both extant. For instance, here in Bicol we have people writing the osipon in the mold of the short-story, problematizing the prose oral essentiality of the osipon as it is performed by rural folks.

    An agta from mount Asog may still perform the Lancero de Iriga and yet know some of Eminem’s lines. It’s possible.

    But the direction of this phenomenon is influenced by some factors such as the ecclesiastical bloc, state, media and pop culture. For example, the same Agta may now be a Christian and also a composer of rock music and in his artistic articulations you may even find some tinge of his cultural roots.

    My blog entry offered simplified contrasts. For example the printed literary tradition versus noontime shows. There is literary ignorance in the sense that there may be no way for the printed poetic practice (no matter how postmodern or alternative it is) to gain approval from people with a predisposition for TV. And for some writers of poetry (who know how difficult it is to craft poems) this is quite frustrating for they believe in the power of the printed word in liberating the intellect.

    For instance, we call a man who can’t appreciate music or tonal relations as tone deaf. Thus allow me, my dear friend, to call those who can’t appreciate printed poetry as non-readers or at worst, literary ignoramuses.

    Thus remember the politics of the possible: Lovers of pop culture can become readers of poetry. This is possible–for different artistic forms arrest and stimulate our senses in different ways.

    Printed poetry and music for instance must both be enjoyed by the masses. And as a writer and a guitarist, I insist that this is possible.

  3. Donnabee said

    You may call anyone anything – it is a free world. I believe your expression comes from an artist whose art has been made near-extinct by the mass media. Though I do not believe an art form should be “famous” for one to appreciate it.

    But calling non-readers as literary “ignoramuses” may either convert them to a reader (due to the challenge) or a despiser (due to the insult). I wouldn’t prefer the latter.

    We have always regarded the masses for the appreciation of our art. But most of them have become increasingly fond of novelty songs which doesn’t even have a worthy message to tell. It’s probably because of the effortless understanding that novelty songs demand. It may be possible for the masses to appreciate poetry, as you say, but I think it will take a lot of extra effort. We cannot sacrifice the mystery of poetry so that we can make it easier for the masses to understand. Poetry, I believe, will remain to those who have the power to grasp the sense of every word.

    P.S. An agta composing a rock music will be an interesting welcome to the music industry, I suppose.

  4. hagbayon said

    We have the case of Japan. They read a lot despite pop culture and mass media. Here in Bicol, we are trying to use club culture and mass media to our advantage. We try to have tigsikan and poetry readings at selected bars and we try to have them featured over TV and radio. We don’t mean, ‘fame’ just better familiarization. Just to remove some negative notions about reading.

    Reader or despiser, or perhaps they just won’t care.


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