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Heritage, Culture, and Politics in the Postcolony. Marc Nichanian Gil Anidjar. Saracens Islam in the Medieval European Imagination. Nicholas B. Regimes of Historicity Presentism and Experiences of Time. Valerie Raleigh Yow. Stephan F. Indeed, in representations of and by postcolonial subjects, hybridity may well be a willful exercise in ethical self-definition. In order perhaps to register what he perceived and experienced to be a mostly perverse or hybrid existence as a multi-lingual writer of more than forty books of poetry and fiction in pre-martial law and martial-law Philippines, Federico Licsi Espino, Jr.
It does this by ironically repeating the existing images and concepts in which the discourse of the Filipino nation has traditionally been couched, and yet by repeating them with the critical difference that paradoxical perversion or postcolonial hybridity makes. Again, while hybridity or perversion is constitutive of both the colonial and the neocolonial cultural condition, in this text rather than condemn or fictionally reify it to fit the humanist, heterosexist and primarily nativist agenda of mainstream nationalist discourse, Espino recognises it, occasionally ironising or even celebrating it as the productive energy that generates difference even or especially in a neocolonised country like the Philippines.
Moreover, as I shall argue towards the end of this paper, the cultural logic that is hybridity already poses a formidable hindrance to any national project. To the common, anticolonial gesture that is nationalism, hybridity may therefore be seen as constituting an uneasy and double-dealing endowment. This paper will proceed from the premise that, by and large, the canonical historiographic and literary renderings of the Filipino nation have invariably been presumptively heterosexual and, not surprisingly, nativist.
In this world, the disenfranchised are able to indulge their own desires while simultaneously reversing the customary order of things. As a postcolonial text that itself is characterised by syncretisms—transcodings and metonymic gaps between English, Tagalog, Ilocano, Spanish, French and Greek; authentic and invented epigraphic texts coming from poetry, mythology, psychoanalysis, novels and philosophical treatises; song lyrics and news paper reports, and others— Lumpen not only admits to the possibility of imagining a Filipino nation constituted of cultural and political hybrids.
Perhaps as a function of the predominantly religious tenor in which Filipino nationalism is couched, in this novella, this closure proves to be a religiously allegorical one, as well. It takes place in the old district of Manila, in particular Quiapo and Sta. Cruz, which are districts north of the Pasig River. The deadly edge of his dilemma is made even sharper by the fact that his blissfully ignorant, beautiful and loving wife, Clarita, is simply too pregnant to have sex with these days. Segko knows that heterosexual congress is the best way a man can nullify the threat that regular homosexual sex poses—a threat that haunts him as a recurrent dream of castration at the hands of the darkly handsome Ben: There was the ever-present danger of being contaminated with the psychic rot which made that profession a profitable business.
Making love to a woman smoothened the psychic creases which could lead to a permanent warping of the soul, a soul that had grown accustomed to the unnatural p. By the end of the novella, Segko has tried but failed to quit his occupation, and while his experience working as a janitor in a big university downtown introduces him to the ideological struggle and friendship of some of the activists, still he cannot completely turn his back on his past, and resumes his old occupation, except this time, he resolves to limit his clientele exclusively to lonely rich matrons.
One such friend is Rolly Aglibut, also called Rolly the Red, because he is one of the leaders of the Maoist-inspired popular student movement. Rolly is of peasant stock, originally from the Ilocos, the same northern province from which the reviled dictator hails.
The Historiographic Perversion
Being an enlightened member of the lumpen, predictably enough Rolly hates the strongman Marcos, whose elaborate network of plunder and mass-scale corruption has paupered the poor all the more. Like many of his fellow-activists, Rolly makes ends meet by part-time hustling, and he and Segko have now and then ended up as rivals over the same limited pool of homosexual customers.
Rolly is not like most callboys: while he is confident in his masculine heterosexuality, he nonetheless sympathises with the bakla. One such foreigner is the romantic and handsome visiting poet from Malaysia, Dr. Moreover, he believes that all love and all loving follows certain conventions, and for the bakla it simply and necessarily involves the giving of financial support to his beloved, which is not such a bad thing at all.
This anting-anting is supposed to make him impregnable to bullets on all the days of the week except Friday, the day when Christ gave up the ghost on the cross. Nonetheless, in seeming emulation of the early Christians of Europe, he is promptly hailed as a martyr by the same popular movement he so selflessly served. Ed enjoys the sight of naked girls who use their astonishing pelvic muscles to pick up the five-peso bills twirled around the fingers of lasciviously grinning customers.
Sammy seems uncomfortable with it all, breaking out in a cold sweat at the sight of the tattooed stud—a jaded-looking ex-convict—going down on a flabby, bored-looking woman, and riding her in quick jerky motions all the way to the sad and badly acted orgasm.
Thus begins their wild and passionate liaison which they keep under wraps; quite a feat in a country where gossip takes wing at the slightest provocation. One day, she schemes to seduce Ed while Sammy is out playing golf, and succeeds. Sammy gets into his car and drives off in a neurotic frenzy, soon getting himself into an accident which kills him on the spot.
Kathy Weston comes to identify his body in the city morgue, expresses no sadness, and decides to have it cremated and shipped back to the States. Following Dr. The photographers milling around the place catch him, and maul him senseless. There are many other characters in the novella, all more or less trafficking in its culturally confused and confusing, helplessly perverse world.
There is the thirty-year-old poet and literature teacher, Miriam Dulzura, who is living on her own, away from her adoptive family, because she wants to be able to write in quiet. While taking a shower one day she thinks of her two most avid admirers: Wystan Robles and Dennis Dimalanta, poets both. Wystan, lean, brown, and ascetic-looking with piercing dark eyes, works as a journalist by day, but writes protest poetry by night, in both English and Tagalog.
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He is a Christian socialist who likes hobnobbing with Americans, including rabidly conservative literary critics. Gibbon, by common consent, is a giant among historians. Admitting the infrequency of great historians, there would seem to be a much better explanation of this phenomenon than that offered by Buckle. The reason why histories of the highest class are so few is not necessarily to be discovered in lack of intellectual power among historians. It would be much more accurate to say that no one can be a complete, well-rounded historian without possessing gifts and qualities which are rarely found in combination.
By enumerating some of these it may be possible to show the relation which the writing of history holds to the completed work. That the historian may achieve real eminence, he must possess a mind which is clear enough to seize upon a suitable subject and wide enough to view it in due perspective. The theme chosen must be of considerable proportions, though not so large as to be overwhelming. In dealing with it the historian must possess such a degree of intellectual detachment as will insure fairness; yet he must not be so detached as to become colorless.
He must possess a robust and unquenchable sympathy with mankind, without being a sentimentalist. He must have a zeal for his task which will make him willing to scorn delights and live laborious days. Many years he must pass in libraries, being his own pedant before he can put life into his pages. His spirit must be calm, yet eager.
And though he be perfect in all these respects, one thing more is necessary. He must know how to write so that the world will read. How this can be achieved it may seem futile to inquire. A very few can do it; the rest fail. Let us not, however, follow the line of least resistance in assuming that it is futile to inquire whether improvement cannot be made in the writing of history as practised by the many.
It may be thought niggardly or unjust to deny the title of greatness to the historian who, with conspicuous ability, monumental learning, and exemplary fairness, produces an opus that is designed for scholars only. Everything depends on definition. At the same time no argument is needed to demonstrate that those who, besides being learned, can write strongly, must stand higher on the head-roll of select historians than those who are unable to emerge beyond the muniment room. Sir Walter Raleigh—of Oxford—has left us several apothegms connected with college examinations, in one of which he observes that the king who made all his subjects dukes was an anarchist.
Following this precept, the number of leaders in any department of endeavor can be but small, and among historians the few whose works command wide attention throughout the ages survive because they possessed the power to communicate their personality through words. For us the point is that we should not dismiss the matter with a phrase about the miracle of genius.
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Rather should we note with care how a faculty for expression has given the masters of our art their distinctive place—style proving to be the porro unum necessarium. Not every one who pursues an art can become a master, but it is possible for every one to aim at being an artist rather than an artisan. It would be a short cut out of the difficulty if one could say with truth that in times past the high mortality among histories has been due to a wilful neglect of the literary vehicle. But no such statement as this could be made with truth if it pretended to cover the whole period during which histories have been written.
In a notable percentage of cases much more attention has been paid to the style than to the content—witness so many of the works which were published during the age of rococo and baroque architecture. In part this was a time of genuine erudition, but it also abounded with writers who were chiefly concerned to win reputation with as little fatigue as possible; namely through the help of rhetoric.
The lamentable circumstance is that so often the real scholar has been content to collect an excellent mass of building-materials without attempting to use them himself, or in attempting to use them has put forth an effort by no means comparable to the value of his materials. It is true that there are some great scholars who would find it impossible to write an effective narrative or interpretation, even if they strove to do so; but these constitute a small minority, however important. One can easily compile, of course, a list of historians who took themselves and their writings very seriously.
Illustrations of this character can be multiplied without impairing the force of the broad statement that over a long period the writing of history has suffered because the truly erudite have taken less pains than they ought to have taken when they set out to communicate the results of their studies. Here, however, we are concerned with the writing of history as a practical matter in our own day.
The Historiographic Perversion, NONE eBook by Marc Nichanian | | Booktopia
Without attempting further to comment upon the broader or more distant aspects of the subject, let us review some of the conditions which have affected historiography during the past fifty or seventy-five years—that is to say, within recent memory, as historians reckon time. The older members of our association were taught, in large part, by men imbued with what has often been called the scientific conception of history. Without attempting to define this in exact terms, it may be recalled that during the last quarter of the last century all reputable historians were engaged in clearing away a vast rubbish of ignorance, prejudice, and misrepresentation.
To them it seemed that earlier historians had been partisans, and that even where they had been sincere, their methods of investigation were very imperfect. Accordingly, it was a pre-eminent duty to conduct research in the spirit of the biologist, the chemist, and the physicist. The reason why this query was then so urgent is very manifest, since such a vast mass of inaccuracy had become lodged in the public consciousness during the preceding uncritical period. Remembering this conflict, we can sympathize with the pioneers who strove for enlightenment at the time when criticism was equivalent to heresy.
This date, however, is long past, and at present it may not be unwise to consider whether the full triumph of critical and comparative methods does not in its turn disclose fresh conditions. The controlling pur pose, one may contend, under which data should be chosen, combined, and presented, is no less a factor now than it was in those long ages before the net of criticism had swept in everything from Ranofer and Khafre to the Legend of Marcus Whitman.
Three generations have elapsed since Ranke began his career with The History of the Romance and German Races; the Ecole des Chartes has been publishing its journal ever since ; and it was in that Droysen opened the ninth volume of the Hi storische Zeitschrift with his paper on the Eleva tion of History to the Rank of a Science. The fruits of critical research are abundant and magnificent; yet criticism is not everything here below, and some of its by-products have taken form in tendencies which need to be corrected.
The scientific historian employing the critical method has often worked in the spirit of a sectarian. Reacting strongly from slipshod investigation and special pleading, he took it for his task to discover and set forth the truth. But being human, he could not deny himself wholly the joys of combat. It became his delight to unmask time-honored myths—winning renown or deriving satisfaction through an enlargement of the borders of knowledge.