The Enlightened by Miguel Syjuco Review

The literary design in Miguel Syjucos debut novel “The Enlightened”
• translated by Hannes Riffel) mimics the fast pace and the media consumption of our time and plays with the universal availability of information. We zap your mood through the TV programs, research and surf the net, blog and communicate electronically, and we readers of the “enlightened” to switch between all the small, remote from each other by the typeface content and hergeswitcht. Nevertheless, the media keeps us book in his simple as rigid “chronological” structure that: We read page for page, whether it is paper or electronically before us.

Back sheets makes little sense; we have to face the confusing principle. must confuse

The reader the author were fun. He plays with our curiosity and our minds, developed his story realistic, added them to again and again with quotes including references and fragments from more than 100 years of Philippine history. We trust him, believe solid ground under our feet – and he draws it to us by absurdities and fantasies

But what it’s all about.

? The Filipino writer Crispin Salvador living in New York in self-imposed exile. As a literature lecturer, he has published several books, writes for newspapers, lectures. His fast-paced, passionate monologue lectures inspire his students. Peer to peer it is less appreciated, least of other Filipino writers; in those circles he is considered an infamous, self-centered intellectual who in 1972 before Ferdinand Edralin Marcos proclaimed the martial law, conveniently from Manila deposed and later, at a congress, his opponents have duped.

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As you one day dead pulls him out of the Hudson River, it turns to the investigating police, the question whether the reclusive author has visited his himself or was murdered. The major newspapers tearing his chops: Salvador was not an authentic Filipino author, too mediocre for a murder …

For student Miguel, himself a Filipino immigrant, is the death of his mentor occasion, with its to employ live closer. He had also privately exchanged with him, loved to eat with him cheeseburger. He may find an explanation for the mysterious death in Salvador’s last work, “The Bridges Ablaze”, a comprehensive, yet incomplete billing with the political system of the Philippines – but unfortunately the manuscript is lost

Now wants Miguel. Biography write his great idol, posthumously honor him, put a monument to him. Simultaneously with this, to be built against his country an indictment, and besides, he wants it put the blame expressed that
• Miguel) even he feels the Philippine dead against.

With these intentions Miguel booked a flight to Manila, so as to move the cover announcement) to embark on a “breathtaking tracking” •. It establishes the second story arc, which is based on Miguel’s history. The fifth of six children, he was born into a politically ambitious family in the Philippines. When his parents died, the grandparents took over his upbringing. But he alienated them, refusing to be politically integrated, eventually travels to New York to study literature.

The story of the experiences Miguel in Manila is repeatedly interrupted by inserted excerpts from a newspaper interview with Salvador in “the Paris Review” from Salvador’s works, such as “the Enlightened” and “Manila Noir” from the “nascent biography Crispin Salvador: Eight Lives Lived by Miguel Syjuco”; it is broken up by running gags , jokes around a student newspaper clippings
• from the Internet edition “”), an Internet blog
• which also [email protected] writes) and so on …

In this colorful kaleidoscope of different text types, -paving blocks and styles to the reader develop the actually interesting fragments and relationships only piecemeal: the lives of the protagonists and their integration with the modern history the Philippines. Which were already 1,565 Spanish colony. From 1896 to 1898, the Philippine revolution took place under the leadership of the Katipunan secret society, ignored the practical American Spanish in their final phase in the war. The Marcos dictatorship
• 1972-1986) brought terrible reprisals against the people until the country in 1987 was a presidential republic. The book’s title, “The Enlightened One”, refers to the privileged affluent families in Philippine society. The Salvador include for generations about this: you are a business that came with sugar plantations and relations in political circles about prestige and wealth. They could allow their children to study abroad, and that brought liberal, Enlightenment ideas into the country.

This panopticon of private and historical, fictional and real events is experimental and humorous in his linguistic and formal design, original and witty but designed my feeling too artificial and for – and certainly not “breathtaking”. The very broad, multi-layered narrative stream was not able to captivate me. . Again and again I have torn the style and theme changes, broke my suspense, concealed the connections

In addition, it seems to me the play with perspective over over and enigmatically: Who’s Who The real author, Miguel Syjuco, acts as a
• name the same) fictional narrator and acts as protagonist; Another narrator is Crispin Salvador, a fictitious shape whose CV to the parallelism has, however, many of the author. The story-telling flows smoothly from one storyteller to another. The game of deception is method, announced as the prologue and the epilogue picks up:

– Miguel Syjuco, according to the way “The fragmented facts are gathered here for your inspection, like a broken mirror.” Manila, December 1, 2002 “(page 28)

” And with this fiction of ways intertwined with the possibilities of fiction, I have woven into my own unlived life there […] in the awareness that we are only lit when we start something new, which we thought that it is the end -. Crispin Salvador, on his way to Manila, on December 1, 2002 “(S. 444)

Miguel Syjuco was born in Manila in 1976, received in 2008 for “Ilustrado” the Man Asian Literary Prize, Asia “Booker Prize”.

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The Enlightened by Miguel Syjuco Review. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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