150pxNoli me Tangere, original cover
Philippines (first printing in Berlin)
Noli Me Tangere is a Spanish-language novel by Filipino writer and national hero José Rizal, first published in 1887 in Berlin. The novel is commonly referred to by its shortened name Noli; the English translation was originally titled The Social Cancer, although recent publications have retained the original Latin. Contents
* 1 Title
* 2 Plot summary
* 3 Main points
* 4 The Noli in Australia
* 5 Film, TV or theatrical adaptations
* 6 External links
* 7 References
The literal translation of the title is touch me not. Rizal derived this phrase from the Bible, specifically the Gospel of St. John 20:13-17, which describes how lepers were made to wear signs bearing these words to warn passers-by of their condition. "Touch me not" were also the warning words spoken by Jesus to Mary Magdalene upon rising from the dead. In the Gospel of John, Jesus uttered this because he has not accomplished his mission (after rising from the dead, he must ascend to heaven to see God the Father) and hence, cannot be touched. French writer D. Blumentritt says that "Noli me tangere" is in fact the professional nickname used by ophthalmologists (such as Rizal himself) for cancer of the eyelids.
Having completed his studies in Europe, young Juan Crisostomo Ibarra comes back to his motherland after a 7-year absence. In his honor, Capitan Tiago (Don Santiago de los Santos) throws a get-together party, which is attended by Father Dámaso, Fray Sibyla, Lieutenant Guevarra, Doña Victorina, and other prominent figures. In an unfortunate incident, Father Dámaso, former curate of San Diego, belittles and slanders the young man. But the ever-gracious and diplomatic Ibarra brushes off the insult and takes no offense; he instead politely excuses himself and leaves the party because of an allegedly important task. Ibarra's sweetheart, Maria Clara, an extraordinarily beautiful lady is known as the daughter of Capitan Tiago, an affluent resident of Binondo. The day after the humbling party, Ibarra goes to see Maria Clara. Their long-standing love is clearly manifested in this meeting, and Maria Clara cannot help but reread the letters her sweetheart had written her before he went to Europe. Before Ibarra left for San Diego, Lieutenant Guevarra (a Guardia Civil), reveals to him the incidents preceding the death of his father Don Rafael. Don Rafael was a rich haciendero of the town. According to the Lieutenant, Don Rafael was unjustly accused of being a heretic, in addition to being a filibuster--an allegation brought forth by Father Dámaso because of Don Rafael's non-participation in confession and mass rites. Father Dámaso's animosity against Ibarra's father is aggravated by another incident. Once Don Rafael saw a tax collector and a student fighting. Out of compassion, he helped the child. The tax collector was greatly irked and picked a fight with Don Rafael. Unfortunately, the Spanish tax collector fell, hit his head against a rock, and died. The collector's death was blamed on Don Rafael, and he was arrested. Suddenly, all of those who thought ill of him surfaced with additional complaints. He was imprisoned, and just when the matter was almost settled, he got sick and died in jail. Still not content with what he had done, Father Dámaso arranged for Don Rafael's corpse to be dug up and transferred from the Catholic cemetery to the Chinese cemetery, because he thought it inappropriate to allow a heretic such as Don Rafael a Catholic burial ground. Unfortunately, it was raining and because of the bothersome weight of the cadaver, the men in charge of the burial decided to throw the corpse into the river. Revenge was not in Ibarra's plans;...
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