(2012) #67 review: Dusk

Dusk

(Rosales Saga, #1)

by

Sionil JOSÉ

317 pages

Published in 1984

Dusk

THIS BOOK COUNTS FOR THE FOLLOWING
READING CHALLENGES

            

   

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

rating system

On a background of hauntingly beautiful landscape, so well  committed to words, see my favorite passage here below, this is actually the horrific history of Spaniard colonization (and the beginning of the American one) of the Philippines.

This was totally new to me, though unfortunately history repeats itself when it comes to colonization, with the help of the Church. I’m a committed Christian, but I have to say the Church does not come at all under nice colors, in the way it is corrupted and how they treat the poor.

Dusk is actually a reflection on suffering and salvation, as the family of Istak struggles with poverty, with their anger and its consequences, towards the foreigners who hold the powers, deprive them of their lands, and push them into fleeing. As you follow them in their odyssey, you embrace their pains and simple joys, as they meet adversity, death, and love. And all of this again on the background of a seducing landscape.

This saga is comprised of 4 more volumes.

FAVORITE PASSAGES

Dusk 2                                                                                                                            p.28

“It was the priest who ruled,  who enacted the laws of the Church and of man, and added to such laws the lash of prejudice, for power was always white, Castilian, and not brown like the good earth.” p. 142

“I pray that You be not white, that You be without color and that You be in all men, because goodness cannot be encased only in white.” pp.142-143

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

With Dusk (originally published in the Philippines as Po-on), F. Sionil Jose begins his five-novel Rosales Saga, which the poet and critic Ricaredo Demetillo called “the first great Filipino novels written in English.” Set in the 1880s, Dusk records the exile of a tenant family from its village and the new life it attempts to make in the small town of Rosales. Here commences the epic tale of a family unwillingly thrown into the turmoil of history. But this is more than a historical novel; it is also the eternal story of man’s tortured search for true faith and the larger meaning of existence. Jose has achieved a fiction of extraordinary scope and passion, a book as meaningful to Philippine literature as One Hundred Years of Solitude is to Latin American literature. [Goodreads]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sionil José

Francisco Sionil José was born in 1924 in Pangasinan province and attended the public school in his hometown. He attended the University of Santo Tomas after World War II and in 1949, started his career in writing. Since then, his fiction has been published internationally and translated into several languages including his native Ilokano. He has been involved with the international cultural organizations, notably International P.E.N., the world association of poets, playwrights, essayists and novelists whose Philippine Center he founded in 1958.

F. Sionil José, the Philippines’ most widely translated author, is known best for his epic work, the Rosales saga – five novels encompassing a hundred years of Philippine history – a vivid documentary of Filipino life.
In 1980, Sionil José received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts.
In 2001, Sionil José was named National Artist for Literature.
In 2004, Sionil José received the Pablo Neruda Centennial Award.

REVIEWS BY OTHERS

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK ON THE PHILIPPINES?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
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6 thoughts on “(2012) #67 review: Dusk

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