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Monday, June 13, 2011

George Harris and Elias

Finally, I picked up Uncle Tom's Cabin from the bookstore. I have meant to do it since grade school when my teacher mentioned in passing that Jose Rizal read Uncle Tom's Cabin and served as one of those books which ignited more flame in his soul.

And there lies the similarities. Reading George Harris laments about his being born black as dead-end as dead-ends could be, I can hear a not-so-distant sentiment brought forth by the character of Elias in Noli Me Tangere. The soul-wrenching drama that words form into an intense soliloquy, never mind that George is supposed to be unburdening to his wife, can only come from someone who has witnessed the coldest a heart can get and the most evil a man can be.

Nineteenth century literature acting as mouthpieces of a society that saw injustice and decided to shut their eyes comes back to us alive but competing with fictitious vampire series, historical romances and conspiracies. I saw a Noli Me Tangere copy under the Bantam Books series the other day. It looked like one of those Bantam released classics all right. I am hoping it would be picked up not just by a high school or college kid taking up a Rizal course. Noli and El Fili need to be read not as a school required reading, but a required guide book by our citizens.

I'm dreaming wide awake again.

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