It’s great to see a writer land on the front page for reminding us of the fundamentals: literature as the art of engagement, writers as politically engaged.
Men and women of letters have peopled Philippine revolutions and revolts. But in the age of text messaging and e-mail, is literature still a relevant form of political dissent?
For Bienvenido Lumbera, professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines and 1993 Ramon Magsaysay awardee for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts, the role of literature in giving a voice to the small, the weak and the oppressed is as strong as ever.
"Literature gives a voice to those that have been silenced," Lumbera said yesterday in Filipino at a press conference called by the National Coalition for the Protection of Workers’ Rights and the militant labor alliance Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1 Movement).
Aside from a small mistake in the translation ("that" should have been "who"), these first paragraphs made stirring good reading.