|J. Neil C.|
Philippine Gay Culture: The Last 30 Years, is a two-part study that attempts to inaugurate an academic clearing in which issues of (male) homosexuality may be raised. Part one undertakes a perspective investigation into the earliest incidences, varieties, development, complexities and problems of the discourse of sexual orientation in the Philippines. By looking into sources written in the Spanish Era, as well as a number of other texts that treat the question of sexuality in the past three decades, this book seeks to answer the question of why no liberation movement has been forthcoming from the various gay-identified sectors in the country. This interest leads the book into an examination of the conceptual history of local gay culture, and of the lack of fit between the different - and inevitably, conflicting - understanding of homosexuality and effeminacy, as these have been lived out by Filipinos in the metropolitan centers of the Philippines in the last 30 years. In the second part of this book, the author subjects three texts - written by Severino Montano, Orlando Nadres, and Tony Perez - to an autobiographical reading whose aim is to resituate their sexual politics at the center of the hermeneutic project. In doing so, the books argues for the desirability - and the necessity - of a gay literary criticism that will not gloss over the question of self representation and sexuality, and that will move away from the New Critical procedure that depersonalizes the text and all supposedly good-natured readings of it. This book is the first of its kind that meshes together skills in literary and cultural studies with a rhapsodic, hauntingly personal voice, in order to establish a unique theoretical perspective from which to understand local gay culture and its various self-expressions.
Born in Manila in 1969, J. Neil C. Garcia is a poet, teacher and scholar. He has been with the Department of English and Comparative Literature of the University of the Philippines (Diliman Campus) for the past five years. In 1994, he taught the first subject on gay literature in the country. He is the author of a collection of poems (Closet Quivers, published by Kalikasan Press in 1992), and co-edited Ladlad: An anthology of Philippine Gay Writing (Anvil, 1994). Neil has been the recipient of numerous poetry awards and the manuscript of his book won for him the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Researcher of 1996. He is currently an Associate for Poetry of the U.P. Creative Writing Center, and is at work on his second collection of poems.
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