Noli Me Tangere Published in Berlin (1887)
* The bleak winter of 1886 was memorable in the life of Rizal for two reasons: 1. It was a painful episode for he was hungry, sick, and despondent in strange city and; 2. It brought him great joy, after enduring so much suffering, because his first novel Noli Me Tangere came off the press in March, 1887.
Idea of Writing a Novel on the Philippines
* His reading of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, w/c portrays the brutalities of American slave-owners and the pathetic condition of the unfortunate Negros slaves, inspired Dr. Rizal to prepare novel that would depict the miseries of his people under lash of Spanish tyrants. * In a reunion of Filipinos in the Paterno residence in Madrid on January 2, 1884, Rizal proposed the writing of a novel about the Philippines by a group of Filipinos. His proposal was unanimously approved by those present, among who were the Paternos (Pedro, Maximo, and Antonio). * Rizal’s project did not materialize. Those compatriots who were expected to colaborate on the novel did not write anything. The novel designed to cover all phases of Philippine Life. * Rizal was disgusted at such flippancy. He was more disgusted to see that his companions, instead of working seriously on the novel, wasted their time for gambling or flirting w/ Spanish senyoritas.
The Writing of the Noli
* Rizal began writing the novel in Madrid and finished one-half of it. When he went to paris, in 1885, after completing his studies in the Central University of Madrid, he continued writing the novel, finishing one-half of the second half. He finished the last fourth of the novel in Germany. He wrote the last few chapters of the Noli in Welhelmsfeld in April-June, 1886.
* In berlin during the winter days of February 1886. Rizal the final revisions on the manuscript of the Noli. Sick and penniless, he saw no hope of having it published, so that in a momentary fit of desperation, he almost hurled it into the flames. Years later he told his good friend and former classmate, Fernando Canon: “I did not believe that the Noli Me Tangere would ever be published when I was in Berlin, broken-hearted, weakened, discouraged from hunger and deprivation. I was on the point of throwing my work into the fire as a thing accursed and fit only to die.”
Viola, Savior of the Noli
* In the midst of his despondency and misery, Rizal received a telegram from Dr. Maximo Viola who was coming to berlin. This friend of Rizal was a scion of a rich family of San Miguel, Bulacan. When he arrived in Berlin before Christmas, he was shocked to find Rizal living in poverty and deplorably sickly due to lack of proper nourishment. * Upon seeing his talented friend, viola being loaded w/ ample funds, gladly agreed to finance the printing cost of the Noli. He also loaned Rizal some cash money for living expenses. Thus it came to pass that Rizal and Viola happily celebrated Christmas of 1886 in Berlin w/ of a sumptuous feast. * February 21, 1887, the Noli was finally finished and ready for printing. With Viola, the savior of the Noli, Rizal went to different printing shops in Berlin to survey the cost of printing.
Rizal Suspected as Frenchy Spy
* During the printing of the Noli, a rare incident happened to Rizal. The Chief of police in Berlin paid a sudden visit to Rizal’s boarding house and requested to see the latter’s passport. Unfortunately Rizal could not produce a passport, for he had none—in those days it was possible to travel w/out a passport. The Chief then told him to secure a passport within four days, otherwise he would be deported. * At the expiration of the four day ultimatum, Rizal presented himself in the office of the German police chief, apologizing for his failure to obtain a passport and politely ask the latter why he was to deported when he had not committed any crime. The police chief informed him that he had...
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