Possible burning of 'Dangadang'.
YESTERDAY, one of the better Ilokano writers who also write in Tagalog, came up with a list of books he cannot live without.
That is your Sir Roy Vadil Aragon for you, that young person who consistently reaps those Palanca awards as if there is no tomorrow.
I guess his career, this Sir Aragon guy, has turned into getting all those Palancas since the Palanca Awards started to recognize that yes, in the Philippines, there are other languages other than English (and Tagalog too!) for those who had colonized the language like 'em spokening dollah-dollah from the elitist schools with their spokening dollah-dollah starting when they set foot on their high-fallutin kindergarten when they did not have to learn their ABC because Sesame Street has done its wonderful job of transforming these kiddos of the rich into spokening dollah-dollah since the day they were thrown into the world, per Heidegger (that Nazi philosopher problematized this existential condition of all men and women and children of this human life). [Ooops, preceding this is a looooong sentence and I am not sure if it is a sentence at all! Sorry!]
Anyways, the point of the story is this: this Sir Aragon guy has placed in his list 'Dangadang,' the novel about our wretched life that I had the accident of authoring when moi was still younger and did not know anything about the world and social justice and democracy.
I commented on his list right off the bat: 'Sir Aragon: you included Dangadang in your list?' [Of course, I was surprised. I did not know that there is at least one Ilokano person apart from another I know that has taken the pains to read that novel I do not want to re-read any longer except the fact that I am trying--trying, that is the buzzword--to translate it into English.]
One critic from the Areneowwwww said the novel is too thick, and why is it that I did not bother to cut it into something like smaller pieces so that its 'materiality' would be something some people would not be afraid of.
I did not answer that critic. Writers are closeted critics of their own word, and I did not want to publicly admit that that novel could have been three novels, and I just made them into one, following the energy of the three persons of the Holy Trinity of my faith.
Sir Aragon came up with a kind response: 'Of course, manong,' he said. And this independent-clause-of-sentence
But Sir Aragon is also a critic, and one must caution oneself when dealing with writers-cum-critics: Do not fall into their argumentum ad populum. They could be pulling your left leg especially if your mind is a bit of the leftist side. Or, if you are left-handed person.
This leads me to another critic, one of our best in our Ilokano world.
The problem with this critic is that he knows a lot, and you cannot afford to display your ignorance because he can read your work from many perspectives, including the sociologico-historical.
He is a sociologist too, and do not ever say you are ignorant because he certainly will unmask you. Pretend that you know something about Marx, that you have read his Communist Manifesto, that you are reading Boudrillard and Badiou and all those names that my Ilokano tongue cannot pronounce.
I am referring to Dr Derick Galam.
We had an exchange this morning, and we talked about the problems of Ilokano life, and the problems extending to the Philippines, Martial Law, the memory of a life unforetold, and the continuing deceptions of the Philippine elite.
We talked about writers selling their soul to the cheats and the devil and the political elites.
And then he told me: 'The moment you cross to the other side, I shall burn your Dangadang!'
I told him: 'I want a Bacarra mansion overlooking the West Philippine Sea. A mansion perched on a cliff so I can smell the salty water.'
I hear him repeating his threat.
Of course, he did not repeat it, but I read his mind: 'I shall burn your Dangadang the moment I see you selling your soul to the Devil!'
Dear Namarsua of the miraculous!