Mojares: Writing history an act of ‘recovery, invention’

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(Photo by Mariel Celine Serquiña/The Varsitarian)

NATIONAL Artist for Literature Resil Mojares emphasized that writing history is not just a retelling of past events, but “an active manner of recovery and invention.”

“Literature and history [are realms] of possibilities. The void or lack that many have lamented over the years is the failure of writers to flesh out the past,” Mojares said in his plenary speech during the Philippine International Literary Festival (PILF) at the Great Eastern Hotel on Friday.

Mojares, a historian and literary critic, said history should also be a medium for “social and political criticism.”

“For proud people with over 400 years of history, what depths of field are revealed? One of the exciting things in writing historical texts is the artistic challenge of rendering history,” he said

“We have to work and nurture our distinction and differences, and our history is our best resource in doing so,” he added.

Mojares has authored several books on Philippine literature, history and politics.

Among his books is “The War Against the Americans: Resistance and Collaboration in Cebu Province,” a historical account on the American occupation of Cebu.

PILF, which had the theme “Gunita: A Pursuit of Memory,” was a two-day event that featured a series of literary talks and gatherings, hosted by the National Book Development Board.

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