Tuesday, April 03, 2007

SCANNING THE MIND
Nagbibilang ng dahon

The image on the left is the cover of Personal Fortune, one of two magazines published by the Philippine broadsheet Business Mirror. I don't write for the mag but it's posted here because this edition carried an article titled No Vanity Project, which is a review of my book The Poverty of Memory: Essays on History and Empire penned by Robert JA Basilio, Jr. You can read the whole review from his blog, along with other good stuff by clicking on this. Right now Boojie's blog has an interesting quick take of Author's Choice, a collection of essays written by Kerima Polotan, the third edition of which is published by the University of the Philippines Press.

The Polotan collection is a fine book. It shows one face of the craft of writing, when style is as fluid as the writer's chosen subject matter. Basilio grabbed a snippet (an excellent choice) from the book and offered it to his blog's visitors, which is worth reposting below. Essential truths my friends:

"I THINK a man begins to lose himself when he forgets he once walked around with holes in his socks. It's that kind of remembering that keeps us all earthbound, vulnerably human, and vulnerably happy. Frayed socks, empty rice bins, leftovers on the table, second-class movie houses, coffee in cheap restaurants, and so on. Want, or the memory of it, not satiation, keeps our nerve ends sensitive."

What do you think?

See, one paragraph can be worth an entire book. Or sometimes a line or two can be equal to a whole encyclopedia: "Naglilinis ako ng aking kwarto / na punong-puno ng galit at damit," sings Ebe Dancel and Sugarfree in their previous work. They have a new album now, which has really made me think -- the trouble with genius is it keeps a frustratingly high standard. No problem though with Sugarfree's new album, Tala-arawan which simply measures up and even breaks new ground, but please don't wait to read my take on it (I'm still swamped and trying to hammer out a page or two of a new book and my schedule's so messed up). Just take my word for it, it's another classic Sugarfree story with this new album. Just go and get Tala-arawan for yourself and find out for yourself what it's all about.

There's a reason why artists like Ebe and Cookie Chua sing with their eyes closed. Listen to them perform live, and in Ebe's case with Jal Taguibao and Kaka Quisumbing, and discover why.

What's the point in all this? Am not sure myself. It's like ransacking the den of pending articles, which is a deep, dark and lonely place, where all the words speak in whispers and nods and blinking eyes. You reach a corner and the first thing you tell yourself is that it's time to leave. I've had a scanner for four months now and no thanks to an insanely packed schedule, this is the first time I've actually used it. It's crazy and interesting at the same time. I've already scanned some coffee bags today (I'm a hopeless pack rat) and old theater tickets and maybe tomorrow I can finally scan some recent paintings and post them. Nice. Let's see what the aquarelles look like after scanning and digitizing. Back to writing.

Thanks for dropping by. #

Sugarfree photo from EMI Music Philippines

1 comment:

densio said...

:) Tala-arawan...