imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

REMEMBERING JOSE RIZAL AND SISA, THE ANTI-POSTCOLONIAL DIFFEREND

by PHILIPPINES STUDIES CENTER Monday, Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM

June 19 this year marks the 53rd anniversary of the Philippines' national hero Jose Rizal's birthday. In Nov 1884, Rizal joined mass demonstrations in Madrid to protest the government's repressive policies. He wrote to his family:"Filipinos are dishonored, entrapped, debased, opposed and tyrannized," so he had to disguise himself three times. The following review centers on Rizal's ideas and Sisa, the character in Rizal's novel, who symbolizes the "wretched of the earth," discussed in E. San Juan's book, SISA'S VENGEANCE (available at amazon.com & createspace).

REMEMBERING JOSE RIZ...
cf-rizal.jpg, image/jpeg, 453x340

RIZAL AS A WAGNERIAN OPERA

A Review of E. San Juan, Sisa’s Vengeance: A Radical Interpretation of Jose Rizal

(ConnecticutL Philippine Cultural Center, Connecticut, 2014).

by Paulino Lim,

Emeritus Professor, California State University, Long Beach, CA

Decentering in Psychology is a mental adjustment that shifts behavioral focus away from the self and its opinions, saving one from becoming too egotistical and solipsistic. In his latest book on Jose Rizal, E. San Juan Jr. introduces decentering as a discursive strategy, shifting the focus as he revisits Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo from the main plot and characters to subplots and minor characters, summing up the pernicious effects of colonization upon the Filipino people, especially the women. Part of the decentering recovers the meaning of the novels as timeless works of art in the country’s colonial past and relevance to the present in light of America’s return or re-colonizing of the Philippines, threatened by China’s redrawing of its territorial borders in the Pacific.


Following San Juan’s maneuver and premise, this review summarizes a decentering of its own, taking cue from the trope of the opening sentence of Sisa’s Vengeance: “Jose Rizal as ghost or phantom in the colonial opera.” It imagines an opera Rizal would write if he were a composer, and another opera updated from its colonial setting to the postcolonial or neocolonial, as San Juan would have it. The first opera drawn from Rizal’s works is traditional, and the second inhabited by his phantom is postmodern, both performed on the scale of Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods), the theme of Wagner’s Ring cycle.

Of the many thematic strands of Sisa’s Vengeance, the following equation would thread the two operas: If Rizal’s life-work is a critique of the decaying colonial order of 19th century Philippines (71), it can also be seen as a critique of the neocolonial order of the 21st century. In other words, Rizal’s novels augur not only the twilight of the Spanish Empire but also the twilight of U.S. imperialism and capitalism, the Kapitalismusdämmerung of Rizal’s Ring cycle.

San Juan embellishes his theatrical trope with quotes from letters and memoirs, and contends that Rizal was, uncannily and unwittingly, “a performance artist avant la lettre.” (6) Rizal self-dramatized imagined roles he’d perform as a revolutionary. He dedicated El Filibusterismo to the three à

secular priests, Fathers Burgos, Gomez and Zamora, whose martyrdom transformed him into a subversive, a filibustero. San Juan describes Rizal’s account of his parting from his first love Segunda Katigbak as “histrionic and theatrical.” The spectacle of his execution, if not for the real bullets fired and blood that flowed, is operatic melodrama of the highest order, with Rizal echoing Christ who at age 33 was only two years younger, saying “Consummatum est.”

Rizal’s chosen medium for his revolutionary critique was the novel. He had written poems and plays before turning to the novel, as Wagner had done before composing operas. If Rizal were a composer, perhaps the Noli and Fili would be operas or, more likely, zarzuelas. San Juan identifies the Aeschylus Oresteia trilogy as “the classical template” of the trilogy: Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo, and the unfinished third novel Makamisa, that historian Ambeth Ocampo stumbled upon while doing research at the National Library. The template will serve the opera in the same way, with the novels, letters and memoirs as source for the libretto. Given the florid diction of Rizal’s 19th century Spanish and the sensuous Wagnerian delineation of emotions, the tone of the opera will be “elegiac and oracular.”

San Juan defines the leitmotif of the colonial opera centered on “the primal scenario of violation, the initiation into the crucible of Rizal’s life-pilgrimage.” Rizal suffered a profound trauma when he witnessed his mother being forced to walk from Calamba to Santa Cruz, a distance of 50 kilometers, on a charge that was never substantiated. (78) Rizal re-enacts his mother’s ordeal in the episode of Sisa walking to the barracks after being arrested by the guardia civiles as the “mother of thieves,” blaming her for her children’s actions.


The second opera played in the Filipino psyche haunted by the phantom of Rizal would definitely not be “Puccini-esque,” as The New York Times describes Noli Me Tangere: An Opera, when it was performed at the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in New York in October 2013. It would be postmodern, “utopian and carnivalesque,” conflating varied revolutions, religious, socialist, and literary, and genres, folk lore, myth and realism. A revolutionary critique of a social order is mind-forged and utopian. It can either liberate or manacle freedom, to paraphrase San Juan invoking William Blake. (92) It will feature such characters as a lover waving a handkerchief singing a farewell aria, a Medusa-like Sisa bent on revenge, and babaylans turned into brujas. The music will morph from lambent kundimans to ringing anthems and dissonant “mad arias,” underscoring love and death scenes, and most likely a bacchanalian interlude in a brothel.

To shift from trope to theme, for a moment, is to see a theater larger than the operatic as San Juan stages Rizal’s evolution as a thinker addressing “the woman question” and religion. He traces the hero’s attitude on women from the viewpoint of male dominance in a patriarchal society installed by the Spanish colonization and sustained by capitalism. It starts with Rizal’s awareness of the egalitarian status of pre-Hispanic women denigrated by the “frailocracy,” and ends like Mary Wollstonecraft “vindicating the rights of women.” On religion San Juan tracks Rizal’s stance shifting from the doctrinal Catholicism of his upbringing to the deistic reach of the Enlightenment, and ending with the mystical side of Romanticism, like Wordsworth hymning “intimations of immortality.” Perhaps the act of reading Thomas à Kempis on the eve of his execution and echoing the crucified Christ was not theatrical performance but penitential after all.

Finally, we see San Juan staging his own Marxist criticism rescued from its parodied “vulgar” phase, as he defines the theoretical bias of commentaries on Rizal, from the dilettantish to the flamboyant, the apologetic and the wrong-headed, all vying for canonical status. Marxism is back in mainstream economics, the talks centering on the impending global collapse of America, democracy and capitalism. This is what San Juan has been saying all along in the company of Renato Constantino and the late senator Jose Diokno in the Philippines and Noam Chomsky in America.

This view concludes with a quote from the paper “The Diplopic Consciousness of Overseas Filipino Writers,” that I presented at the 9th International Conference on the Philippines at Michigan State University in October 2012: “San Juan writes poetry in Filipino and polemics in English. He has the sensibility of a poet and the driving logic of a committed polemicist. His persuasive critique of the hegemony of capitalism and of America’s imperialism is unsurpassed, not even by Noam Chomsky and the late Harold Pinter.”

The tribute stands.

#






Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy