Do away with Western influences in Filipino fiction – USTPH writer

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A WRITER from the UST Publishing House (USTPH) urged Filipino writers to do away with Western influences in writing Filipino fiction.

“We don’t have global audiences because we don’t have pride. I feel that we have devolved from [the past],” said Angelo Sarge Lacuesta last Feb. 24 at the Solidaridad Bookstore.

Lacuesta, editor at large of Esquire Philippines, said using Western literature as models for writing about Filipino culture was an “abomination.”

“It’s time for us to see that if you look at the West for an idea on how to write your own literary history, your own culture, I tell you, it’s going to be crap,” Lacuesta said.

Lacuesta urged Filipino fictionists to spend more time reading Filipino writers such as F. Sionil Jose and Lualhati Bautista.

“Read your own culture. Forget Tolstoy, forget Carver. Read Filipino writers instead,” he said.

A work with Filipino influences, despite being written in English, is “100 percent Filipino” nonetheless, he said.

The event served as the twin launching of Lacuesta’s books “Coral Cove and Other Stories,” published by USTPH, and “A Waiting Room Companion,” published by Bughaw of the Ateneo de Manila University Press.

“Coral Cove and Other Stories” is a collection of short stories “that take place in the clouded past, the urgent present, and the dark future.” Its title story won the Nick Joaquin Literary Award in 2016.

“A Waiting Room Companion” is an essay collection about Lacuesta’s life adventures and experiences. Some entries were originally published in Esquire Philippines.

The event was organized by the Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets and Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists). K.B.L.Arlegui

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