Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Of Magazine Writing

Still reelin' from the opportunity to meet and listen to the great Gregorio Brilliantes yesterday during thesis class. Three hours of listening but I didn't mind -- a privilege is a privelege and yesterday was one of those once-in-a-lifetime deals. Mr. Brilliantes went through a number of topics but I've decided to focus on the issue of literary magazines.

Mr. Brilliantes said that he thought that the short story was the favorite literary form of Filipinos. As much as I wanted to comment on behalf of the poets, I stuck to what I know and asked about creative nonfiction. He said that this is the "one type of writing that we should have more of." According to Mr. Brilliantes, one need not look further than Nick Joaquin for the ideal model for creative nonfic.

"Unfortunately, we don't have the magazines for this sort of work anymore." Mr. Brilliantes went on to reminisce about the glory days of Philippine magazine writing and literary journalism, with the likes of Panorama, the Philippine Graphic, and the Philippine Free Press leading the way. It was a time when the likes of Joaquin and NVM Gonzales would serve as editors and artists like Manansala would serve as cartoonist.

Heights I hold dear as a literary folio, and I have much respect for The Guidon and Matanglawin, but even on the campus level, literary journalism has found no venue. I like the direction we are going (and we don't know that my piece's cartoonist and good friend Korinne Banal or resident cartoonist Panch Alvarez won't be national artists in the future) but Katipunan does little to fill the cause for creative nonfiction in student magazines.

My time at the Ateneo is almost up so I won't really benefit from such a proposition, but Mr. Brilliantes suggested the creation of a literary magazine in the University (in the mold of The New Yorker perhaps), even suggesting a possible source of financial support, and considering my being unemployed in about a semester's time, how about it Manny Pangilinan -- one for the University and one for the real world?


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