Reportage of Crime

Reportage of Crime by Quijano de Manila (Nick Joaquin) sub-titled Thirteen Horror Happenings That Hit the Headlines (did it really? I don't have the book right now but gorramn those are a lot of capital letters) is my 3rd Anvil-book-from-Anvil. (yeah I'm dubbing these books from Anvil as Anvil-book-from-Anvil)

Generally I find it a bit iffy to review anthologies due to the simple fact that sometimes the parts just don't live up to the whole...or vice-versa. It's no different here...the being-iffy part not the living-up-to-the-whole/parts part.

RoC shows much more than the title expresses, it's more than crime, more than just Horror Happenings, more even than just simple reportage. This book is a slice of us, of contemporary Filipino life and culture in the 60's. It's our flawed mishmash of catholic religion/Traditions and pre/post hispanic superstitions, our eagerness for social climbing and our shun of those who fall. We have our tribal mentality our "provincialness" and our single minded eagerness for the new and the "modern". It's our love for the lore of the past and our disdain for (and failure to) maintaining a sense of our own history. We have the youthful open mindedness and liberalness against our adherence to the male dominated traditional version of "family". It's our habit of clawing people down and yet standing by them no matter what.
It's a very good read, hardly putdownable, it's a perfect blend of light-treatment-of-heavy-material and heavy-treatment-of-light-material.
What we have are vine-leaf-sized (alright, I know most of them are vastly more than vine-leaf-sized but I hadn't the heart to put down cabbage-leaf-sized instead) stories culled from the sensational headlines of the decade, embellished by the unique and singular skill of the author into something permanently relevant historically and culturally.


Post a Comment