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Chapter 8

NOLI ME TANGERE Published in Berlin (1887)

“The novel is the first impartial and bold account of the life of the Tagalogs. The Filipinos will find in it the history of the last 10 years” -Jose Rizal on Noli Me Tangere

NOLI ME TANGERE Published in Berlin (1887)

• bleak winter of 1886 was memorable in the life of rizal

o first, painful – hungry, sick and despondent in a strange city

o second – brought him great joy, after enduring so much sufferings, his first novel came of the press

• Noli Me Tangere came off the press in March, 1887

• Dr. Maximo Viola, his friend from Bulacan, arrived in Berlin at the height o9f his despondency and loaned him the needed funds to publish the novel.

1. Idea of writing a novel on the Philippines

a. Reading “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe that portrays the brutalities of American slave-owners and the pathetic conditions of the unfortunate Negro slaves, inspired Rizal to prepare a novel that would depict the miseries of his people under the lash of the Spanish tyrants (student at the Central University of Madrid)

b. January 2, 1884, Filipino reunion in Paterno residence in Madrid, Rizal proposed the writing of a novel about the Philippines by a group of Filipinos.

c. Proposal approved unanimously by: The Paternos (Pedro, Maximo and Antonio)

i. Graciano Lopez Jaena

ii. Evaristo Aguirre

iii. Eduardo de Lete

iv. Julio Llorente

v. Melecio Figueroa

vi. Valentin Ventura

d. Unfortunately, his project did not materialize, those who were expected to collaborate on the novel did not write anything.

i. Novel designed to cover all phases of Philippine Life

ii. Everybody wanted to write on women – Rizal was disgusted by this

iii. Rizal determined to write the novel – alone

2. The Writing of the Noli

a. Toward the end of 1884, Rizal began writing the novel in Madrid and finished about one-half of it

b. Paris, 1885, completed studies in Central University of Madrid – continued writing the novel – finished one-half of the second-half

c. Finished the last fourth of the novel in Germany

d. Wrote the last few chapters of Noli in Wilhelmsfeld in April-June, 1886

e. February 1886, winter in Berlin – final revisions of manuscript of Noli was made

f. Sick and penniless – he was hopeless in being able to publish it

g. Because of desperation, he almost burned the novel

h. Years later, Rizal told his friend and former classmate, Fernando Canon:

i. “I did not believe that Noli Me Tangere would ever be published when I was in Berlin, broken-hearted, weakened and discouraged from hunger and deprivation. I was on the point of throwing my work in the fire as a thing accursed and fit only to die.”

3. Viola, Savior of Noli

a. In the midst of despondency and misery, Rizal received a telegram from Dr. Maximo Viola (friend of Rizal, scion rich family of San Miguel, Bulacan) who was coming to Berlin. (Christmas 1887)

b. Shocked to see Rizal living in poverty, Viola agreed to finance the printing cost of the Noli.

c. Viola loaned Rizal some cash money for living expenses also

d. After Christmas, Rizal put finishing touches on novel

i. To save printing expenses, he deleted some passages :

1. Whole chapter of “Elias and Salome”

e. February 21, 1887, the Noli was finally finished and ready for printing

f. Printing shop – Berliner Buchdruckrei-Action-Gesselschaft

i. Charged the lowest rate (300 pesos for 2,000 copies of the novel)

4. Rizal suspected as a French spy

a. Passport conflict

5. Printing of the Noli Finished

a. March 21, 1887 – Noli Me Tangere came off the press

b. Rizal sent the first copies to his intimate friends:

i. Blumentritt

ii. Dr....
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