Literatures of the Philippines
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF LITERATURE
A. Definition of Literature:
•The word literature is derived from the Latin term litera which means letter. It has been defined differently by various writers. •Some loosely interpret literature as any printed matter written within a book, a magazine or a pamphlet. Others define literature as a faithful reproduction of man’s manifold experiences blended into one harmonious expression. •Because literature deals with ideas, thoughts and emotions of man, literature can be said to be the story of man. Man’s loves, griefs, thoughts, dreams and aspirations coached in beautiful language is literature. •For Webster, literature is anything that is printed, as long as it is related to the ideas and feelings of people, whether it is true, or just a product of one’s imagination. •In PANITIKING PILIPINO written by Atienza, Ramos, Salazar and Nazal, it says that “true literature is a piece of written work which is undying. It expresses the feelings and emotions of people in response to his everyday efforts to live, to be happy n his environment and, after struggles, to reach his Creator.”
B. Why We Need to Study Philippine Literature
•We study literature so that we can better appreciate our literary heritage. We cannot appreciate something that we do not understand. Through a study of our literature, we can trace the rich heritage of ideas handed down to us from our forefathers. Then we can understand ourselves better and take pride in being a Filipino.
•Like other races of the world, we need to understand that we have a great and noble tradition which can serve as the means to assimilate other cultures. Through such a study, we will realize our literary limitations conditioned by certain historical factors and we can take steps to overcome them. •Above all, as Filipinos, who truly love and take pride in our own culture, we have to manifest our deep concern for our own literature and this we can do by studying the literature of our country.
C. Time Frames of Philippine Literature in English
1. The Period of Re-orientation: 1898-1910
2. Period of Imitation: 1910-1925
3. Period of Self-Discovery: 1925-1941
4. Japanese Period: 1941-1945
5. The Rebirth of Freedom: 1946-1970
6. Period of Activism: 1970-1972
7. Period of the New Society: 1972-1981
8. Period of the Third Republic: 1981-1985
9. Contemporary Period: 1986
D. Literature and History
Literature and history are closely interrelated. In discovering the history of a race, the feelings, aspirations, customs and traditions of a people are sure to be included . . . and these feelings, aspirations, customs and traditions that are written is literature. History can also be written and this too, is literature. Events that can be written down are part of true literature. Literature, therefore, is part of history. Literature and history, however, also have differences. Literature may be figments of the imagination or events devoid of truth that have been written down, while history is made up of events that really happened.
E. The General Types of Literature
PROSE – those written within the common flow of conversation in sentences and paragraphs. 1.Novel – a long narrative divided into chapters. The events are taken from true-to-life stories and a longer period of time. There are many characters involved. Example: Without Seeing the Dawn by Stevan Javellana.
2.Short Story – a narrative involving one or more characters, one plot and one single impression. Example: Dead Stars by Paz Marquez Benitez 3.Plays – presented on stage, is divided into acts having many scenes. Example: Cadaver by Alberto S. Florentino
4.Legends – fictitious narratives, usually about origins. Ex. The Bicol Legend by Pio Duran
5.Fables – also fictitious, deal with animals and inanimate objects who speak and...