I intended to add this to my GoodReads list soon after I started reading it,and update my progress the way I usually do, but I could not: I was too bu...moreI intended to add this to my GoodReads list soon after I started reading it,and update my progress the way I usually do, but I could not: I was too busy reading it through and through. Mo-Lini's (Mo-Lini was the name the Teduray had for Schlegel) mix of personal and academic tones makes for reading that is both insightful and touching.
People coming to this book specifically for information about the Figel Teduray should be warned: this is NOT an academic work, but a memoir by an anthropologist who had been deeply influenced by his subjects. The most important parts of the book are Schlegel's self-insights as influenced by the people of Figel, and if the account is not taken for the personal account that it is, it can be a bit frustrating, as details of Figel Teduray cosmology or legal systems and so on are not fully explored.
But read this with an open mind, and you'll see that these details are not the point. This book is not about encoding systems and facts, but about relationships and people, and that unique ability of the Figel Teduray to just live life; their art and wisdom of living.
Mo-Lini captured an image of the way of the Figel Teduray, and it changed him. And he wrote about it in this book. The Figel Teduray Stuart Schlegel knew, I think, would have called that "just-right".
R.E.de Leon Concepcion Uno, Marikina 2001-03-17 13:26h (less)
I originally gave this book only two stars, but decided the reader of this review, if used to the usual scale of ambition among Filipino novels, might...moreI originally gave this book only two stars, but decided the reader of this review, if used to the usual scale of ambition among Filipino novels, might misunderstand me.
You see, I'm convinced this book is a milestone for Philippine books, earning it a place in the history of Philippine storytelling. And when I give it 2 stars, I do so on a scale that has Orson Scott Card and Ursula leGuin at the 5-star mark. Karen Francisco's opus, while in many ways technically flawed, is good enough that to not place it on a scale with the greats would do it a disservice -- although on such a scale it might not score as highly as it otherwise might. Francisco's narrative has ambition, chutzpah, and with some editing, an appeal capable of crossing ethnic or national boundaries.
Don Richardson's Eternity in their Hearts plays an important role in my bookshelf - it, along with a handful of CS Lewis' works, the primary bridge be...moreDon Richardson's Eternity in their Hearts plays an important role in my bookshelf - it, along with a handful of CS Lewis' works, the primary bridge between the "Christian" shelf and the "Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Anthropology" shelf.
Its premise is that, within the fabric of each of the world's cultures are embedded threads -clues in the form of stories and traditions - that point the way to the Gospel message. If a missionary is senstive to such stories and traditions, it becomes easier for him or her to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ in a way that is deeply understood by peoples hearing it for the first time.
You can imagine how this would be controversial.
Imagine if a people reached by the gospel message for the first time believed in, say, a creator deity. Would it be appropriate to associate the name of God or of Jesus Christ to that deity? Where lies the boundary between a people's belief in the one true God, creator of heaven and earth, vis-a-vis, say, a Sun-idol?
Richardson takes up the matter very seriously, but there are those who strongly disagree with him. In fact, most Christ-believing readers will come to this book inclined either to strongly agree or strongly disagree with Richardson.
Me, I tend to approach the idea with much caution, and only ever on a case-to-case basis. But I think it must be taken seriously, lest the evangelist become guilty of "adding to the gospel" in the act of insisting that the people he shares the gospel to understand it and react to it in exactly the same way the west does, coat and tie and songs about winter and spring and all. (Or have we forgotten that a good number of people never reached by the good news have never even SEEN snow, much less winter?)
Read it with open eyes and ask yourself if your understanding of the good news of Jesus Christ has been embellished by the specific patterns of your culture. And ask yourself if it is proper, in passing on the message, to force your own culture upon these people.
But keep talking to people - within and outside your culture - about Christ. We believers were commanded to. This book is good because it might just help you do it more effectively.
RE de Leon Agoo, La Union 12:18 AM December 9, 2011 (less)
Finished reading The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit? This is the next Tolkien book I'd recommend, a good introduction to Tolkien the essayist and th...moreFinished reading The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit? This is the next Tolkien book I'd recommend, a good introduction to Tolkien the essayist and the short-story teller. The short story "Leaf by Niggle" and the essay "On Fairy Stories", alone, are worth the purchase, and the other pieces are pretty good too. (One wishes the poem "mythopoeia" were here too, but alas, it is not.)
The only downside to this book is that it overlaps with quite a few other Tolkien anthologies. But in most cases, that's okay, because the scholarly tone of most of Tolkien's work means only very few people collect all Tolkien the anthologies, anyway.
At any rate, if I were to come up with a list of BASIC Tolkieniana (er... that looks strange. No wonder that term isn't used more often), it would comprise of: 1. The Lord of the Rings; 2. The Hobbit; 3. The Tolkien Reader; 4. The Silmarillion; and 5. Humphrey Carpenter's "Tolkien: A Biography"
And then you can explore the rest of Tolkien's body of work as you see fit, based on what you've sampled. But if you want to get to know Tolkien's work with any degree of credibility, the material you find in "The Tolkien Reader" are must-reads.
RE de Leon 11:20 PM January 5, 2010 Agoo, La Union, Philippines(less)
The degree to which you enjoy this book will depend on exactly how much you like Tolkien. Unlike The Silmarillion, this piece, as with the rest of the...moreThe degree to which you enjoy this book will depend on exactly how much you like Tolkien. Unlike The Silmarillion, this piece, as with the rest of the books in these series, is comprised of fragments of text cobbled together by JRR Tolkien's son Christopher, with Christopher's notes on the evolution of the material. It will give you insight into Tolkien's process of writing. And it will show you the various directions Tolkien was headed in whilst writing the Silmarillion. And yes, there is great story here, but it is incomplete, and it'll take hard work on your part to piece the parts together, even with Christopher Tolkien's guidance. If you're still interested, congratulations. You're a real, deep-down Tolkien fan. Ifr you aren't, no need to fret - but there's no need for you to buy this book either. I can't imagine not having a copy, though.
RE de Leon Agoo, La Union, Philippines 10:51 PM January 5, 2010 (less)
Damiana Eugenio's Philippine Folk Literature Series, of which this is volume II, is perhaps the most definitive collection of Philippine folk literatu...moreDamiana Eugenio's Philippine Folk Literature Series, of which this is volume II, is perhaps the most definitive collection of Philippine folk literature today, and a critical resource for anyone studying Philippine stories and Philippine culture.
The stories themselves, I must warn you, are culled from print sources, since that's pretty much the only way such a collection could be put together within the span of a human lifetime. Where versions of a story vary significantly from each other, the different variants (or examples thereof) gathered by Eugenio are all presented, allowing the reader a good glimpse of the range of variations for each story.
The introduction itself is a precious piece, a good guide to the study of these Philippine folk stories in general, and of the pieces in the book in particular.
Again a bit too detailed for the appreciation of the novice, this is a critical resource for any serious student of Mythology, Mythopoeia, and Philippine folk culture.
(For those who are interested only in general, I recommend book one of this series, which is an Anthology of Philippine Folk Literature.)
RE de Leon Agoo, La Union 7:21 PM January 2, 2011(less)