Friday, November 23, 2012

Reading Miguel

Last night, while forcing myself to fart, I finished Miguel Syjuco’s “Ilustrado,” and in the morning, forcing myself to burp, I was still puzzling over its ending, I decided to read it again; discovering and deeply appreciating with utter amazement the book’s extraordinary style: Miguel Syjuco turning out to be fictional at the end of the novel; and Crispin Salvador, who was supposed to be dead at the beginning of the novel, turned out to be the one writing it—or do you get that disrupted feeling it is the other way around? Just to get a taste of how post-post-postmodern authors disrupt our usual order of reality, read the prologue and epilogue of the novel, written by Miguel Syjuco and Crispin Salvador, respectively, in route to Manila on December 1, 2002; and let's see if you won't get confused, or wouldn't want to take a pause and think; or, read the entire novel again, slowly, as in s-l-o-w-l-y so as not to suffer indigestion, in checking and counter-checking which reality you are still treading. This might be a good example of how the novel invents and re-invents. "Which point-of-view was it written?" Ja asked, over breakfast, as if the novel was written in the 1960s. No, not a point of view here, Ja, but points-of-view; and be careful when you speak, from which point of view are you speaking; because realities could easily be interchanged; the author playing, Miguel becoming Crispin and Cripin, becoming Miguel. It was a totally enervating experience!

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