I am happy to note that some of the items from last year’s Christmas wishlist were in fact fulfilled: the Mao Cap (minus the red star), Ernesto Cardenal’s Zero Hour and Other Documentary Poems (sent by the ever generous William Small), and Edberto Villegas’ Barikada (which I just read earlier this month).
The rest I’ve given up on as being too expensive (like Resil Mojares’ Isabelo’s Archive) or next to impossible to obtain (The Earth is a Satellite of the Moon by Leonel Rugama).
For this year, my book wish list is in the main still literary because I have more than enough historical and theoretical books at hand to read for the next year or two:
- Let me begin with poetry: Pash: A Poet of Impossible Dreams, Cosmic Canticle by Ernesto Cardenal, Spain in Our Hearts by Pablo Neruda, and Ericson Acosta’s Mula Tarima Hanggang which is due to be published by the University of the Philippines Press next year.
- Next are plays: Peter Weiss’ The Investigation, Hölderlin, The New Trial, and Discourse on Vietnam, among others, because I became very fascinated with him after reading The Aesthetics of Resistance and Marat/Sade.
- As for the novel, I would like Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Devil on the Cross and Petals of Blood because I have been pressing for his getting awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature these past few years without having read these two classic works of his.
- Finally, Alain Badiou’s The Age of the Poets and Rhapsody for the Theatre. While I disagree with much of Badiou’s post-Maoist conclusions, I find many of his political commentaries sharp and on the mark – more so his statements on aesthetic questions.