Sunday, October 5

Jessica Hagedorn's Dream Jungle is out. I remember reading about it in her homecoming essay in a special edition of Time Magazine a couple of months back. The Sta Mesa she wrote about was nothing like the place I knew as a kid in high school. In the article, she told about an interview she had with the man who "discovered" the Tasadays. According to the NYT review, the book while it doesn't exactly have a plot, deals with reality as manufactured truth:
Could this whole Stone Age tribe business (based on the controversy surrounding the ''gentle'' Tasaday) be a fraud? Will the fake war (based on Francis Ford Coppola's filming of ''Apocalypse Now'' in the Philippines) make contact with the real hostilities nearby? Can ''Napalm Sunset'' -- Hagedorn's perfect title for the film -- do justice to the agonizing war that inspired it? What interference (or protection) can the filmmakers and anthropologists expect from the Philippine military and the Marcos government?
The last Hagedorn book I read was still Dogeaters, which was part of my reading list for the history as narrative in my Comparative Lit class with Issy Reyes. What I noticed was most of the books dealing with that theme revolved around recollections of the Martial Law years. Everything from Killing Time in a Warm Place to State of War.

I remember arguing with my mother, who thought that Martial Law was an "orderly" period and the whole thing about missing people and salvaging was just overblown. How could I argue otherwise, when I wasn't there? Well, she had a point. My memory of the Marcos years is a hodgepodge created from reading and stories of people who almost died but lived anyway. My memory of the first Edsa nga is hazy. I just brought it up because I want to read something that approaches my current time-space zone other than the Marcos years.

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