READING THROUGH some biographical sketches of creative writers has made me realize the meaning of creative sacrifice that gives rise to critical sensibility. 

When I speak of 'the writers' here, I refer to the creative and committed ones and not those paid hacks with the capacity for inane verbal legerdemain. 

The paid hacks are on the rise. 

Many of these biographies--those of the Latin American poets and French and Spanish--speak of these writers as the moneyed type, unlike the many of us Ilokanos who have to keep on writing for the sake of writing something that hopefully will educate the unthinking masses multiplying like mushrooms everywhere in the Ilocos and beyond it.

The former group of creative writers have time in their hands, the time to ruminate, contemplate, keep their distance.

The latter, 'em Ilokanos, are too close to the act they do not have time to ruminate, contemplate, keep their distance.

And many of them do not know aesthetics beyond their own formulation.

There is that castrated fantasy in Ilokano creative writing, and that fantasy has been produced and reproduced by the same literary institutions that have stopped thinking critically, producing and reproducing the same nonsense that we have seen for a long time.

And there are agents of the same production and reproduction cycle, and these agents are not thinking at all, not in the real sense of the word.

In a way, we all have become agents of the same cycle.

In a way, we have refused to think beyond these pigeonholes we have presumed are good enough for our writing souls.

I think now of those pillars of Ilokano literature who have refused, one way or the other, to be boxed in and I remember some of them.

And yet I remember that act of 'blacklisting' of the older generation, the act as fascistic as one can get.

I wonder if this institution of blacklisting has become so subtle that many of us believe that to be an Ilokano writer we only need to think along the same XYZ line of the past.

Perhaps this is what Ilokano writing lacks at this time: the creative sacrifice to think critically.

18 Jan 2014

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