25 January 2009
Casuga on literariness
Canada-based poet and critic Albert Casuga posted a comment on my entry on "Literariness" (8 January 2009). He asked, not necessarily rhetorically, "When I wrote my earliest poems in Ilocano, were they 'more literary' than when I used Spanish or English in my later works?" This is the core issue of interest to this blog. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Albert. Not being competent in Ilocano, I cannot answer the question myself as far as your own works are concerned, but on a theoretical (perhaps, meta-theoretical) plane, I have to say that there must be some way to tell if a work is "more literary" than another, and if language is crucial to literariness, then there must be a general principle that can apply to the literariness of works in non-mother tongues. What that general principle is, I do not know, but I hope that readers, writers, and philosophers around the world will start trying to discover or to formulate it.