Friday, October 08, 2004


Actually, looking back at my last post, I'm a bit unsettled.

Alfar's story, which was published in Strange Horizons last year, is excellent: no ifs and buts about it. It makes me wonder if I'm mistaken in the direction of my stories lately.

Studying Alfar's story as a fantasist, his prose is evocative and lyrically wonderful that it can draw comparisons to fantasists Elizabeth McKillip, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Jeff Ford. However, I would say that Alfar's style is par for the course in local literature like, say, the late grand old man Nick Joaquin:

The night when she thought she would finally be a star, Maria Isabella du'l Cielo struggled to calm the trembling of her hands, reached over to cut the tether that tied her to the ground, and thought of that morning many years before when she'd first caught a glimpse of Lorenzo du Vicenzio ei Salvadore: tall, thick-browed and handsome, his eyes closed, oblivious to the cacophony of the accident waiting to occur around him.

Yes, I also know this is also the style of South American writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges and Angelica Gorodischer. And yes, I know inherent here is the magical realist link but I can't remember at the moment which way it flows.

I admit: I'm way out of my depth here. (I graduated with a degree in Political Science in college, not Literature!)

However, a look at Alfar's link to a local literary website has his story changed to a drama play: "When the Ispancialo had been in Hinirang for sometime/But also when wonder was strong/Legends were true/And memories were still being made." (Reminds me of Gamalinda's award-winning novel, My Sad Republic actually.) Likewise, the link doesn't state a date of publication of the play.

It is these changes that made me wonder whether in the story's publication in Strange Horizon, changes were made to fit the requirements of international viewership (or whether it was the other way around).

For example, in comparing terms, I can see that Palao'an and Siqui'jor are really the provinces of Palawan and Siquijor but without the dreaded apostrophes feared and abused in fantasy writing circles.

But I don't know the author so I really shouldn't put assumptions where there aren't any.

What was I trying to say anyway? That train of thought has come and gone without me the wiser, dammit...

Ah well, I like the influences that have been making itself heard in my stories and ideas anyway: Philip K. Dick, Lucius Shepard, and Harlan Ellison.

And at that, I'll shut up already.

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