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approaching the world.

Two World Wars


Modernism in the span of a generation effectively
shell-shocked all of Western civilization.
The Modernist Period in English
Literature occupied the years from In its genesis, the Modernist Period in
shortly after the beginning of the English literature was first and foremost
twentieth century through roughly 1965. a visceral reaction against the Victorian
In broad terms, the period was marked culture and aesthetic, which had
by sudden and unexpected breaks with prevailed for most of the nineteenth
traditional ways of viewing and century. Indeed, a break with traditions
interacting with the world. is one of the fundamental constants of
Experimentation and individualism the Modernist stance. Intellectuals and
became virtues, where in the past they artists at the turn of the twentieth
were often heartily discouraged. century believed the previous
Modernism was set in motion, in one generation’s way of doing things was a
sense, through a series of cultural cultural dead end. They could foresee
shocks. The first of these great shocks that world events were spiraling into
was the Great War, which ravaged unknown territory. The stability and
Europe from 1914 through 1918, known quietude of Victorian civilization were
now as World War One. At the time, this rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
“War to End All Wars” was looked upon The assassination of Archduke
with such ghastly horror that many Ferdinand of Austria was essentially the
people simply could not imagine what triggering event of the First World War,
the world seemed to be plunging a conflict which swept away all
towards. The first hints of that particular preconceived notions about the nature
way of thinking called Modernism of so-called modern warfare.
stretch back into the nineteenth century.
In the world of art, generally speaking,
As literary periods go, Modernism
Modernism was the beginning of the
displays a relatively strong sense of
distinction between “high” art and “low”
cohesion and similarity across genres
art. The educational reforms of the
and locales. Furthermore, writers who
Victorian Age had led to a rapid
adopted the Modern point of view often
increase in literacy rates, and therefore
did so quite deliberately and self-
a greater demand for literature or all
consciously. Indeed, a central
sorts. A popular press quickly developed
preoccupation of Modernism is with the
to supply that demand. The
inner self and consciousness. In
sophisticated literati looked upon this
contrast to the Romantic world view, the
new popular literature with scorn.
Modernist cares rather little for Nature,
Writers who refused to bow to the
Being, or the overarching structures of
popular tastes found themselves in a
history. Instead of progress and growth,
state of alienation from the mainstream
the Modernist intelligentsia sees decay
of society. To some extent, this
and a growing alienation of the
alienation fed into the stereotype of the
individual. The machinery of modern
aloof artist, producing nothing of
society is perceived as impersonal,
commercial value for the market. It’s
capitalist, and antagonistic to the artistic
worth mentioning that this alienation
impulse. War most certainly had a great
worked both ways, as the reading public
deal of influence on such ways of
by and large turned their backs on many taken in the twentieth century were
“elitist” artists. The academic world remarkable by any measure.
became something of a refuge for
In Modernist literature, it was the poets
disaffected artists, as they could rub
who took fullest advantage of the new
elbows with fellow disenfranchised
spirit of the times, and stretched the
intellectuals. Still, the most effective
possibilities of their craft to lengths not
poets and novelists did manage to make
previously imagined. In general, there
profound statements that were absorbed
was a disdain for most of the literary
by the whole of society and not just the
production of the last century. The
writer’s inner circles. In the later years of
exceptions to this disdain were the
the Modernist period, a form of populism
French Symbolist poets like Charles
returned to the literary mainstream, as
Beaudelaire, and the work of Irishman
regionalism and identity politics became
Gerard Manley Hopkins. The French
significant influences on the purpose
Symbolists were admired for the
and direction of artistic endeavor.
sophistication of their imagery. In
The nineteenth century, like the several comparison to much of what was
centuries before it, was a time of produced in England and America, the
privilege for wealthy Caucasian males. French were ahead of their time. They
Women, minorities, and the poor were were similarly unafraid to delve into
marginalized to the point of utter silence subject matter that had usually been
and inconsequence. The twentieth taboo for such a refined art form.
century witnessed the beginnings of a Hopkins, for his part, brought a fresh
new paradigm between first the sexes, way to look at rhythm and word usage.
and later between different cultural He more or less invented his own poetic
groups. Class distinction remains rhythms, just as he coined his own
arguably the most difficult bridge to words for things which had, for him, no
cross in terms of forming a truly suitable descriptor. Hopkins had no
equitable society. Some would argue formal training in poetry, and he never
that class has become a euphemism for published in his lifetime. This model –
race, but that’s another discussion. The the self-taught artist-hermit who has no
point is that as the twentieth century desire for public adulation – would
moved forward, a greater variety of become synonymous with the poet in
literary voices won the struggle to be the modern age. This stereotype
heard. What had so recently been continues unrivaled to this day, despite
inconceivable was steadily becoming a the fact that the most accomplished
reality. African-Americans took part in poets of the Modern period were far
the Harlem Renaissance, with the likes from recluses. Even though alienation
of Langston Hughes at the forefront of a was a nearly universal experience for
vibrant new idiom in American poetry. Modernist poets, it was impossible to
Women like Hilda Doolittle and Amy escape some level of engagement with
Lowell became leaders of the Imagist the world at large. Even if this
movement. None of this is to suggest engagement was mediated through the
that racism and sexism had been poetry, the relationship that poets had
completely left behind in the art world. with their world was very real, and very
Perhaps such blemishes can never be much revealing of the state of things in
fully erased, but the strides that were the early twentieth century.
Leading up to the First World War, characteristics of Eliot’s work is the
Imagist poetry was dominating the manner in which he seamlessly moves
scene, and sweeping previous aesthetic from very high, formal verse into a more
points of view under the rug. The conversational and easy style. Yet even
Imagists, among them Ezra Pound, when his poetic voice sounds very
sought to boil language down to its colloquial, there is a current underneath,
absolute essence. They wanted poetry which hides secondary meanings. It is
to concentrate entirely upon “the thing this layering of meanings and
itself,” in the words of critic-poet T. E. contrasting of styles that mark Modernist
Hulme. To achieve that effect required poetry in general and T. S. Eliot in
minimalist language, a lessening of particular. It is no overstatement to say
structural rules and a kind of directness that Eliot was the pioneer of the ironic
that Victorian and Romantic poetry mode in poetry; that is, deceptive
seriously lacked. Dreaminess or appearances hiding difficult truths.
Pastoral poetry were utterly abandoned
In American Literature, the group of
in favor of this new, cold, some might
writers and thinkers known as the Lost
say mechanized poetics. Imagist poetry
Generation has become synonymous
was almost always short, unrhymed,
with Modernism. In the wake of the First
and noticeably sparse in terms of
World War, several American artists
adjectives and adverbs. At some points,
chose to live abroad as they pursued
the line between poetry and natural
their creative impulses. These included
language became blurred. This was a
the intellectual Gertrude Stein, the
sharp departure from the ornamental,
novelists Ernest Hemingway and F.
verbose style of the Victorian era. Gone
Scott Fitzgerald, and the painter Waldo
also were the preoccupations with
Pierce, among others. The term itself
beauty and nature. Potential subjects for
refers to the spiritual and existential
poetry were now limitless, and poets
hangover left by four years of
took full advantage of this new freedom.
unimaginably destructive warfare. The
No Modernist poet has garnered more artists of the Lost Generation struggled
praise and attention than Thomas to find some meaning in the world in the
Stearns Eliot. Born in Missouri, T. S. wake of chaos. As with much of
Eliot would eventually settle in England, Modernist literature, this was achieved
where he would produce some of the by turning the mind’s eye inward and
greatest poetry and criticism of the last attempting to record the workings of
century. Eliot picked up where the consciousness. For Hemingway, this
Imagists left off, while adding some of meant the abandonment of all
his own peculiar aesthetics to the mix. ornamental language. His novels are
His principal contribution to twentieth famous for their extremely spare, blunt,
century verse was a return to highly simple sentences and emotions that
intellectual, allusive poetry. He looked play out right on the surface of things.
backwards for inspiration, but he was There is an irony to this bluntness,
not nostalgic or romantic about the past. however, as his characters often have
Eliot’s productions were entirely in the hidden agendas, hidden sometimes
modern style, even if his blueprints were even from themselves, which serve to
seventeenth century metaphysical guide their actions. The Lost Gene
poets. One of the distinguishing
ration, like other “High Modernists,” definitive sample of Modernist literature.
gave up on the idea that anything was In it, one is confronted by biblical-
truly knowable. All truth became relative, sounding verse forms, quasi-
conditional, and in flux. The War conversational interludes, dense and
demonstrated that no guiding spirit rules frequent references which frustrate even
the events of the world, and that the most well-read readers, and
absolute destruction was kept in check sections that resemble prose more than
by only the tiniest of margins. poetry. At the same time, Eliot fully
displays all the conventions which one
The novel was by no means immune
expects in Modernist literature. There is
from the self-conscious, reflective
the occupation with self and inwardness,
impulses of the new century. Modernism
the loss of traditional structures to
introduced a new kind of narration to the
buttress the ego against shocking
novel, one that would fundamentally
realities, and a fluid nature to truth and
change the entire essence of novel
knowledge.
writing. The “unreliable” narrator
supplanted the omniscient, trustworthy The cynicism and alienation of the first
narrator of preceding centuries, and flowering of Modernist literature could
readers were forced to question even not persist. By mid-century, indeed by
the most basic assumptions about how the Second World War, there was
the novel should operate. James already a strong reaction against the
Joyce’s Ulysses is the prime example of pretentions of the Moderns. Artists of
a novel whose events are really the this newer generation pursued a more
happenings of the mind, the goal of democratic, pluralistic mode for poetry
which is to translate as well as possible and the novel. There was optimism for
the strange pathways of human the first time in a long time.
consciousness. A whole new Commercialism, publicity, and the
perspective came into being known as popular audience were finally embraced,
“stream of consciousness.” Rather than not shunned. Alienation became boring.
looking out into the world, the great True, the influence of Modernist
novelists of the early twentieth century literature continues to be quite
surveyed the inner space of the human astonishing. The Modern poet-critics
mind. At the same time, the changed the way people think about
psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund artists and creative pursuits. The
Freud had come into mainstream Modern novelists changed the way
acceptance. These two forces worked many people perceive truth and reality.
together to alter people’s basic These changes are indeed profound,
understanding of what constituted truth and cannot easily be replaced by new
and reality. schemas.
Experimentation with genre and form This article is copyrighted © 2011 by
was yet another defining characteristic Jalic Inc. Do not reprint it without
of Modernist literature. Perhaps the permission. Written by Josh Rahn. Josh
most representative example of this holds a Masters degree in English
experimental mode is T. S. Eliot’s long Literature from Morehead State
poem The Waste Land. Literary critics University, and a Masters degree in
often single out The Waste Land as the
Library Science from the University of o From Chaucer to Spenser
Kentucky. 1400-1599
o The Age of Shakespeare
Major Modernist Writers
1564-1616
o The Age of Milton 1608-
 Bishop, Elizabeth (1911-1979) 1674
 Conrad, Joseph (1857-1924)
o From the Restoration to
 Doolittle, Hilda (1886-1961)
the Death of Pope 1660-
 Eliot, Thomas Stearns (1888-
1744
1965)
o The Death of Pope to the
 Faulkner, William (1897-1962)
French Revolution 1744-
 Fitzgerald, F. Scott (1896-1940)
1789
 Hemingway, Ernest (1899-1961)
o The French Revolution to
 Hughes, Langston (1902-1967)
the Death of Scott 1789-
 James, Henry (1843-1916)
1832
 Lawrence, D. H. (1885-1930)
o From the Death of Scott to
 Lowell, Amy (1874-1925)
the Present Time 1832-
 Pound, Ezra (1885-1972)
1893
 Shaw, George Bernard (1856-
o Appendix
1950)
 Stevens, Wallace (1879-1955)
 Williams, Tennessee (1882-1941)
 Woolf, Virginia (1882-1941)
 American Literature History
 Yeats, William Butler (1865-1939)
o Preface
Periods & History Home o The Colonial Period 1607-
1765
 Literary Periods o The Revolutionary Period
1765-1815
o Renaissance Literature
o The Era of National
o The Enlightenment
Expansion 1815-1837
o Romanticism
o The Concord Writers
o Transcendentalism
1837-1861
o Victorian Literature
o The Cambridge Scholars
o Realism
1837-1861
o Naturalism
o Literature in the Cities
o Modernism
1837-1861
o Bloomsbury Group
o Literature Since 1861
o Existentialism
o Appendix
o Beat Generation

 English Literature History


o From the Conquest to
Chaucer 1066-1400
The Literary Forms in Philippine of material about early Filipinos as
Literature recorded by Spanish, Chinese, Arabic
and other chroniclers of the past.
by: Christine F. Godinez-Ortega
Pre-colonial inhabitants of our
The diversity and richness of islands showcase a rich past through
Philippine literature evolved side by side their folk speeches, folk songs, folk
with the country's history. This can best narratives and indigenous rituals and
be appreciated in the context of the mimetic dances that affirm our ties with
country's pre-colonial cultural traditions our Southeast Asian neighbors.
and the socio-political histories of its
colonial and contemporary The most seminal of these folk
traditions. speeches is the riddle which is tigmo in
Cebuano, bugtong in
The average Filipino's unfamiliarity Tagalog, paktakon in Ilongo
with his indigenous literature was largely and patototdon in Bicol. Central to the
due to what has been impressed upon riddle is the talinghaga or metaphor
him: that his country was "discovered" because it "reveals subtle resemblances
and, hence, Philippine "history" started between two unlike objects" and one's
only in 1521. power of observation and wit are put to
the test. While some riddles are
So successful were the efforts of ingenious, others verge on the obscene
colonialists to blot out the memory of the or are sex-related:
country's largely oral past that present-
day Filipino writers, artists and Gaddang:
journalists are trying to correct this
inequity by recognizing the country's Gongonan nu usin y amam If you
wealth of ethnic traditions and pull your daddy's penis
disseminating them in schools and in
the mass media. Maggirawa pay sila y inam. Your
mommy's vagina, too,
The rousings of nationalistic pride in
the 1960s and 1970s also helped bring (Campana) screams. (Bell)
about this change of attitude among a
new breed of Filipinos concerned about The proverbs or aphorisms express
the "Filipino identity." norms or codes of behavior, community
beliefs or they instill values by offering
nuggets of wisdom in short, rhyming
verse.
Pre-Colonial Times
The extended form, tanaga, a
Owing to the works of our own mono-riming heptasyllabic quatrain
archaeologists, ethnologists and expressing insights and lessons on life
anthropologists, we are able to know is "more emotionally charged than the
more and better judge information about terse proverb and thus has affinities with
our pre-colonial times set against a bulk the folk lyric." Some examples are
the basahanon or extended didactic The folk narratives, i.e. epics and
sayings from Bukidnon and folk tales are varied, exotic and magical.
the daraida and daragilon from Panay. They explain how the world was
created, how certain animals possess
The folk song, a form of folk lyric certain characteristics, why some places
which expresses the hopes and have waterfalls, volcanoes, mountains,
aspirations, the people's lifestyles as flora or fauna and, in the case of
well as their loves. These are often legends, an explanation of the origins of
repetitive and sonorous, didactic and things. Fables are about animals and
naive as in the children's songs or Ida- these teach moral lessons.
ida (Maguindanao), tulang
pambata (Tagalog) or cansiones para Our country's epics are considered
abbing (Ibanag). ethno-epics because unlike, say,
Germany's Niebelunginlied, our epics
A few examples are the lullabyes are not national for they are "histories"
or Ili-ili (Ilongo); love songs like of varied groups that consider
the panawagon and balitao (Ilongo); har themselves "nations."
ana or serenade (Cebuano);
the bayok (Maranao); the seven-syllable The epics come in various
per line poem, ambahanof the names: Guman (Subanon); Darangen (
Mangyans that are about human Maranao); Hudhud (Ifugao);
relationships, social entertainment and and Ulahingan (Manobo). These epics
also serve as a tool for teaching the revolve around supernatural events or
young; work songs that depict the heroic deeds and they embody or
livelihood of the people often sung to go validate the beliefs and customs and
with the movement of workers such as ideals of a community. These are sung
the kalusan (Ivatan), soliranin (Tagalog or chanted to the accompaniment of
rowing song) or the mambayu, a Kalinga indigenous musical instruments and
rice-pounding song; the verbal dancing performed during harvests,
jousts/games like the duplo popular weddings or funerals by chanters. The
during wakes. chanters who were taught by their
ancestors are considered "treasures"
Other folk songs are the drinking and/or repositories of wisdom in their
songs sung during carousals like the communities.
tagay (Cebuano and Waray); dirges and
lamentations extolling the deeds of the Examples of these epics are
dead like the kanogon (Cebuano) or the Lam-
the Annako(Bontoc). ang (Ilocano); Hinilawod (Sulod); Kudam
an (Palawan); Darangen (Maranao); Ula
A type of narrative song hingan (Livunganen-Arumanen
or kissa among the Tausug of Manobo); Mangovayt Buhong na
Mindanao, the parang sabil, uses for its Langit (The Maiden of the Buhong Sky
subject matter the exploits of historical from Tuwaang--Manobo); Ag Tobig neg
and legendary heroes. It tells of a Keboklagan (Subanon);
Muslim hero who seeks death at the and Tudbulol (T'boli).
hands of non-Muslims.
have a solemn tone and spiritual subject
matter.
The Spanish Colonial Tradition
But among the religious poetry of
While it is true that Spain the day, it is the pasyon in octosyllabic
subjugated the Philippines for more quintillas that became entrenched in the
mundane reasons, this former European Filipino's commemoration of Christ's
power contributed much in the shaping agony and resurrection at Calvary.
and recording of our literature. Religion Gaspar Aquino de Belen's "Ang Mahal
and institutions that represented na Passion ni Jesu Christong
European civilization enriched the Panginoon natin na tola" (Holy Passion
languages in the lowlands, introduced of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Verse) put
theater which we would come to know out in 1704 is the country's earliest
as komedya, the sinakulo, the sarswela, known pasyon.
the playlets and the drama. Spain also
brought to the country, though at a Other known pasyons chanted
much later time, liberal ideas and an during the Lenten season are in Ilocano,
internationalism that influenced our own Pangasinan, Ibanag, Cebuano, Bicol,
Filipino intellectuals and writers for them Ilongo and Waray.
to understand the meanings of "liberty
and freedom." Aside from religious poetry, there
were various kinds of prose narratives
Literature in this period may be written to prescribe proper decorum.
classified as religious prose and poetry Like the pasyon, these prose narratives
and secular prose and poetry. were also used for proselitization. Some
forms are: dialogo (dialogue), Manual de
Religious lyrics written by ladino Urbanidad (conduct
poets or those versed in both Spanish book); ejemplo (exemplum)
and Tagalog were included in early and tratado (tratado). The most well-
catechism and were used to teach known are Modesto de Castro's
Filipinos the Spanish language. "Pagsusulatan ng Dalawang Binibini na
Fernando Bagonbanta's "Salamat nang si Urbana at si Feliza" (Correspondence
walang hanga/gracias de sin between the Two Maidens Urbana and
sempiternas" (Unending thanks) is a fine Feliza) in 1864 and Joaquin Tuason's
example that is found in the Memorial "Ang Bagong Robinson" (The New
de la vida cristiana en lengua Robinson) in 1879, an adaptation of
tagala (Guidelines for the Christian life Daniel Defoe's novel.
in the Tagalog language) published in
1605. Secular works appeared alongside
historical and economic changes, the
Another form of religious lyrics are emergence of an opulent class and the
the meditative verses like middle class who could avail of a
the dalit appended to novenas and European education. This Filipino elite
catechisms. It has no fixed meter nor could now read printed works that used
rime scheme although a number are to be the exclusive domain of the
written in octosyllabic quatrains and missionaries.
The most notable of the secular Tangere and the El filibusterismo helped
lyrics followed the conventions of a usher in the Philippine revolution
romantic tradition: the languishing but resulting in the downfall of the Spanish
loyal lover, the elusive, often heartless regime, and, at the same time planted
beloved, the rival. The leading poets the seeds of a national consciousness
were Jose Corazon de Jesus (Huseng among Filipinos.
Sisiw) and Francisco Balagtas. Some
secular poets who wrote in this same But if Rizal's novels are political, the
tradition were Leona Florentino, Jacinto novel Ninay (1885) by Pedro Paterno is
Kawili, Isabelo de los Reyes and Rafael largely cultural and is considered the
Gandioco. first Filipino novel. Although
Paterno's Ninay gave impetus to other
Another popular secular poetry is novelists like Jesus Balmori and Antonio
the metrical romance, the awit and M. Abad to continue writing in Spanish,
korido in Tagalog. The awit is set in this did not flourish.
dodecasyllabic quatrains while
the korido is in octosyllabic quatrains. Other Filipino writers published the
These are colorful tales of chivalry from essay and short fiction in Spanish in La
European sources made for singing and Vanguardia, El Debate, Renacimiento
chanting such as Gonzalo de Cordoba Filipino, and Nueva Era. The more
(Gonzalo of Cordoba) and Ibong notable essayists and fictionists were
Adarna (Adarna Bird). There are Claro M. Recto, Teodoro M. Kalaw,
numerous metrical romances in Epifanio de los Reyes, Vicente Sotto,
Tagalog, Bicol, Ilongo, Pampango, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, Rafael
Ilocano and in Pangasinan. The awit as Palma, Enrique Laygo (Caretas or
a popular poetic genre reached new Masks, 1925) and Balmori who
heights in Balagtas' "Florante at Laura" mastered the prosa romantica or
(ca. 1838-1861), the most famous of the romantic prose.
country's metrical romances.
But the introduction of English as
Again, the winds of change began medium of instruction in the Philippines
to blow in 19th century Philippines. hastened the demise of Spanish so that
Filipino intellectuals educated in Europe by the 1930s, English writing had
called ilustrados began to write about overtaken Spanish writing. During the
the downside of colonization. This, language's death throes, however,
coupled with the simmering calls for writing in the romantic tradition, from the
reforms by the masses gathered a awit and korido, would continue in the
formidable force of writers like Jose novels of Magdalena Jalandoni. But
Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Mariano patriotic writing continued under the new
Ponce, Emilio Jacinto and Andres colonialists. These appeared in the
Bonifacio. vernacular poems and modern
adaptations of works during the Spanish
This led to the formation of the period and which further maintained the
Propaganda Movement where prose Spanish tradition.
works such as the political essays and
Rizal's two political novels, Noli Me
The American Colonial Period Press, the College Folioand Philippines
Herald. Paz Marquez Benitez's "Dead
A new set of colonizers brought Stars" published in 1925 was the first
about new changes in Philippine successful short story in English written
literature. New literary forms such as by a Filipino. Later on, Arturo B. Rotor
free verse [in poetry], the modern short and Manuel E. Arguilla showed
story and the critical essay were exceptional skills with the short story.
introduced. American influence was
deeply entrenched with the firm Alongside this development, writers
establishment of English as the medium in the vernaculars continued to write in
of instruction in all schools and with the provinces. Others like Lope K.
literary modernism that highlighted the Santos, Valeriano Hernandez Peña and
writer's individuality and cultivated Patricio Mariano were writing minimal
consciousness of craft, sometimes at narratives similar to the early Tagalog
the expense of social consciousness. short fiction
called dali or pasingaw (sketch).
The poet, and later, National Artist
for Literature, Jose Garcia Villa used The romantic tradition was fused
free verse and espoused the dictum, with American pop culture or European
"Art for art's sake" to the chagrin of other influences in the adaptations of Edgar
writers more concerned with the Rice Burroughs' Tarzan by F. P.
utilitarian aspect of literature. Another Boquecosa who also penned Ang Palad
maverick in poetry who used free verse ni Pepe after Charles Dicken's David
and talked about illicit love in her poetry Copperfield even as the realist tradition
was Angela Manalang Gloria, a woman was kept alive in the novels by Lope K.
poet described as ahead of her time. Santos and Faustino Aguilar, among
Despite the threat of censorship by the others.
new dispensation, more writers turned
up "seditious works" and popular writing It should be noted that if there was
in the native languages bloomed a dearth of the Filipino novel in English,
through the weekly outlets like the novel in the vernaculars continued to
Liwayway and Bisaya. be written and serialized in weekly
magazines like Liwayway, Bisaya,
The Balagtas tradition persisted Hiligaynon and Bannawag.
until the poet Alejandro G. Abadilla
advocated modernism in poetry. The essay in English became a
Abadilla later influenced young poets potent medium from the 1920's to the
who wrote modern verses in the 1960s present. Some leading essayists were
such as Virgilio S. Almario, Pedro I. journalists like Carlos P. Romulo, Jorge
Ricarte and Rolando S. Tinio. Bocobo, Pura Santillan Castrence, etc.
who wrote formal to humorous to
While the early Filipino poets informal essays for the delectation by
grappled with the verities of the new Filipinos.
language, Filipinos seemed to have
taken easily to the modern short story Among those who wrote criticism
as published in the Philippines Free developed during the American period
were Ignacio Manlapaz, Leopoldo Filipino writers continue to write
Yabes and I.V. Mallari. But it was poetry, short stories, novellas, novels
Salvador P. Lopez's criticism that and essays whether these are socially
grabbed attention when he won the committed, gender/ethnic related or are
Commonwealth Literay Award for the personal in intention or not.
essay in 1940 with his "Literature and
Society." This essay posited that art Of course the Filipino writer has
must have substance and that Villa's become more conscious of his art with
adherence to "Art for Art's Sake" is the proliferation of writers workshops
decadent. here and abroad and the bulk of
literature available to him via the mass
The last throes of American media including the internet. The
colonialism saw the flourishing of various literary awards such as the Don
Philippine literature in English at the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for
same time, with the introduction of the Literature, the Philippines Free Press,
New Critical aesthetics, made writers Philippine Graphic, Home Life and
pay close attention to craft and Panorama literary awards encourage
"indirectly engendered a disparaging him to compete with his peers and hope
attitude" towards vernacular writings -- a that his creative efforts will be rewarded
tension that would recur in the in the long run.
contemporary period.
With the new requirement by the
Commission on Higher Education of
teaching of Philippine Literature in all
The Contemporary Period tertiary schools in the country
emphasizing the teaching of the
The flowering of Philippine literature vernacular literature or literatures of the
in the various languages continue regions, the audience for Filipino writers
especially with the appearance of new is virtually assured. And, perhaps, a
publications after the Martial Law years national literature finding its niche
and the resurgence of committed among the literatures of the world will
literature in the 1960s and the 1970s. not be far behind.

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