March 12, 2008
I just sent my thesis to a nearby photocopy shop for book binding. It will be ready for distribution soon. I think to myself, there goes the paper that made me decide to pursue studies here in the Bicol region. Why study in Manila when here you can save on boarding expenses, and at the same time work for Bikol literature. I think most of the materials for a decent work on Bikol literary criticism lurk somewhere in the region, and one only needs to look.
And so there I was, quite surprised that I defended it well (and was even given a grade of A or Excellent). Another surprise was that writing in Bikol was never an issue. You see, I hear that the institution I am in is pro-globalization (whatever that means) and will not dare accept a thesis written in the regional language. Good thing that they did accept my 248-page paper, making for history and glory (ala-Gerard Butler, haha).
I called it ‘Pagsasatubuanan: Modernistang Poetikang Bikolnon.’ It is more of a book really, than a thesis. Honestly, the thesis format bores me. A writer ought to avoid writing too much in it. But then somebody has to do it. And I did reconcile the writerly and the academic.
I think I can attribute the success of my defense to the fact that what I have written there is right in my head. I even practice it or do lectures out of it. It is a praxis on the rawitdawit as Bikol aesthetics. As I always say, creative writing is my day job while literary criticism is my hobby. I guess that is why I enjoy writing workshops. I have attended most of them except, of course the UP and Dumaguete workshops. Aside form the food and the booze, I love to observe the eccentricities of our elder writers during critiquing. We writing fellows always get a good laugh out of it. Like Doc Bien and Doc Deriada who would seem to be asleep but would suddenly ‘wake up’ and blurt out something cool or nasty.
As I said, I already made lectures out of ‘Pagsasatubuanan’ like the one I did at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary attended by, well of course, seminarians. As part of my paper’s recommendations, I intend to have more critiquing sessions on creative writing and apply the theory. Others ought to write theses and studies in their respective local languages also.