UST launches special reprint of critical book on Nick Joaquin’s works

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THE UNIVERSITY launched a special reprint of a critical work on the writings of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin last March 15 at the St. Raymund de Peñafort Building.

“Subversions of Desire: Prolegomena to Nick Joaquin” by US-based scholar E. San Juan, Jr. was launched under Unitas, UST’s official scholarly journal for humanities, arts and the social sciences.

San Juan’s book, originally published in 1987 by Ateneo de Manila Press, is a collection of critical essays discussing the struggles of Joaquin in searching for the true Filipino identity.

“[Its] primary motivation [is] to reinscribe Joaquin’s text in the field of sociopolitical contradictions defining our nation since the Filipino-American War and its fraught aftermath,” San Juan said in his remarks.

San Juan said the launching of Joaquin’s “The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic” as a Penguin Classic in 2017 prompted him to reissue his own book.

San Juan, a former Fulbright lecturer, urged his readers to remember his book’s “historical context of composition.”

He also praised the University for being “one of the first instigators of nationalist revival.”

“[B]y holding regular seminars on Joaquin’s achievement [and] with the reprinting of this book… UST continues its patronage of the arts,” he said.

San Juan said he hoped his book would challenge more Filipino scholars, noting that Joaquin, who died in 2004, was “scarcely read by 103 million citizens.”

“What their collective judgment of this book may be, together with its uncalculated effects, will depend on the outcome of the current democratic struggles and not on any single individual critic,” he said. K.B.L.Arlegui

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