in the commential below, barbara writes:
A couple of things: isn’t Benedict Anderson big on Filipino (Philippines-based, versus Fil Am) literature? I think he is. If that is the case, then I really don’t know so well the lit of that time in the Philippines, which dealt with Spain or North America, since we are talking about former colonial powers. I do know of anti-Martial Law lit, which I relate to the anti-US/Philippine “special relations,” so if that’s the case, then like you, I wonder what he was not reading.
Last thing: I wonder if in Philippine lit, he read any strong Catholicism as pro-colonial love, even though Philippine Catholicism also has ties to revolutionary movements.
Maybe he was chastising post-colonial writers for not being anti-colonial enough, which is to say, anti-colonial by his definition/standards. That’s problematic.
Re: “master narrative” which it seems to me he is forwarding even though I really think his agenda (given what little I know about him) was not to forward it – I’ll go with Flavor Flav on this – yo, don’t believe the hype!
i dont know about anderson’s other work, but in Imagined Communities (IC) he writes about rizal (Noli Me Tangere & the poem Ultimo Adios) and francisco balagtas. anderson mainly cites rizal to show how the novel creates a sense of time that shows the ‘simultaneity of homogeneous, empty time’ (which is, imagined by anderson, a precise analogue for the idea of the nation) and how the poem expresses love-against-all-odds for the nation.
it seems fine to say that rizal is a nationalist writer (tho that’s a bit reductionist). but it’s completely problematic to then say that all novels create this analogue and that most cultural forms express love for the nation (as he does in the excerpt in the post below)–and this is of course presupposing his imaginary of the nation.
this leads me to the title of this blog: anderson isn’t able to imagine the vast array of cultural forms that absolutely do express fear and loathing about nation-building projects. those unimagined communities just fit neatly into the borders of anderson’s imaginary of imagined communities.