Sunday, October 23, 2011

Books for Breakfast

Underground Spirit, Volume 1, edited by Jimmy Abad


So blown away by the work of three women writers (Edith Tiempo, Azucena Grajo-Uranza, & Estrella Alfon), I didn't want to ruin the "moment" by reading further.

Which is not to say I'm not looking forward to reading the next story. It's by my former law professor (whose class I enjoyed, and my one regret during law school was I didn't have the chance to take any other subject taught by him apart from the one I took), the brilliant Ruben Balane.  In fact, I looked for U.S. Vol. 1 partly because he was in it.


I do enjoy the introductions to these anthologies, which Jimmy Abad writes with such careful scholarship.  It's awesome to know someone has gone through thousands of stories and poems, and thought about them, and how they are meaningful. I am learning much by just reading him, as well as the stories he's gathered. And, he knows his stuff--literary criticism and all.

The introduction to this volume was of particular interest to me because it touched upon what makes someone (usually) classify a work as a short story and as a narrative/lyric poem.


Despite some not-so-nice things that have happened of late, I am grateful that I've had the luxury of going through this survey of Philippine short fiction in English. It's a good thing too that Cruz, Yabes & Abad have come out with their respective anthologies of short Philippine fiction covering stuff that's been produced since, oh, say Dead Stars. Without those anthologies, I wouldn't be able to self-study the way I'm doing now.

Maybe next year I'll do a self-survey of Philippine poetry in English starting with Jimmy Abad's Native Clearing and Man of Earth anthologies. But maybe I'll be too busy to finish then (there's this even bigger project I'll be involved with until 2013, at the latest).


wisdom, humility, silence, careful, thought, generosity, listen, dialogue, respect, love, yes, love

There is another way.

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