Sunday, November 28, 2010

Updated Course Syllabus and Classroom Policies (Semester 2, AY 2010-2011

LIT102 Course Syllabus and Classroom Policies: Philippine Literature***
Instructor: Timothy Sanchez Official website:

Course Objectives
This course is designed to develop among students an awareness and appreciation of the depth and breadth of our country’s literatures in order to foster among them the desire for truth, love for country and nature, which will eventually constitute a competent, compassionate and committed Thomasian.

Learning Outcomes and Competencies
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to demonstrate the following on appropriate testing/evaluation instruments:
1. Read and Analyze literary selections that exemplify the multivalent Filipino experiences and their multi-vocal articulations.
2. Understand how the Filipino is constituted in Philippine literary texts.
3. Appreciate the different types and forms of Filipino literatures.
4. Value cultural differences and similarities embodied in Philippine Literary outpourings.
5. Write a critique paper on a Filipino novel, epic or drama.
6. Transform and extend creatively Philippine Literary materials to other artistic expression.

Intellectual Competencies Expected of all Students Enrolled in General Education Courses in English and the Humanities
This course will afford the enrolled students the opportunity to refine their existing skills in the following six areas:
Reading: Reading at the college level means the ability to analyze and interpret a variety of printed materials.
Writing: Competency in writing is the ability to produce clear, correct, and coherent prose adapted to purpose, occasion and audience.
Speaking: Competence in speaking is the ability to communicate orally in clear, coherent, and persuasive language appropriate to purpose, occasion, and audience.
Listening: Listening at the college level means the ability to analyze and interpret various forms of spoken communication.
Critical Thinking: Critical thinking embraces methods for applying both qualitative and quantitative skills analytically and creatively to subject matter in order to evaluate arguments and to construct alternative strategies.
Computer Literacy: Computer literacy at the college level means the ability to use computer-based technology in communicating, solving problems, and acquiring information.

Course Methodologies
1. Lectures
2. Report /Discussion
3. Creative/Critical Writing (see Writing Assignment)
4. Drama Presentation/Dramatic Reading (see Final Requirement)
5. Film Viewing and Field Exposure
Assessment Procedures
Students will listen to lectures, participate in class discussions through reporting, and write about the authors and works through activities that include essay exams and critical papers. Successful essays and papers must respond to the requirements established by the assignment prompt.

Traditional academic essays must contain a clearly stated arguable thesis, effective evidence used in support of the thesis, a clear organizational pattern, adequate paragraph development, paragraph unity and coherence, and appropriate and accurate documentation, including paraphrasing, quoting, and a "works cited" list at the end when requested by the prompt.

All essays, quizzes and papers must be written according to conventional standards of English grammar and punctuation and should not contain errors that significantly harm or diminish meaning. The following are considered major grammatical errors: sentence boundaries, subject/verb disagreement, and verb tense and form. All essays, quizzes and papers must be written for the appropriate reader and the subject, occasion, and purpose of writing. They must contain complex sentence structure and effective word choice and include a title.

Consultation Hours
Office: CTHM Faculty Room E-mail:
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 2-3 p.m.

Students may earn a maximum of 335 points per grading period (prelim and finals), and grades are based on the percentage of those points a student earns. The percentage is traditional. (Keep track of the points you have earned for the assignments listed above and convert them into a percentage to determine your grade. For more information on calculating your grade in class, see the information on Quizzes and Grade Calculation below.) Grades are broken down as follows:

Writing Assignments, Quizzes 135 pts., or 30% of your grade.
Major Examination 100 pts., or 40% of your grade.
Attendance/Participation 100 pts., or 30% of your grade.

Quizzes and Grade Calculation
Quizzes will usually be worth ten points. I will not announce quizzes in advance; students should expect one at the beginning of every class period. Students will be given ample time to complete quizzes if they arrived to class on time, but if a student is late for class he/she will have less time to complete the quiz. For instance (10minute quiz), if a student arrives 8 minutes late, he/she will only have 2 minutes to complete the quiz. If the student arrives after the quiz is over or if the student is absent, he/she will not be allowed to make up the quiz. I do not give special/make up test. If a student misses a major exam, he or she needs to write a formal letter requesting for one. This should also be accompanied by supporting documents. The student will have to wait until the end of the semester to take the special make-up exam. Students may prepare for quizzes by using the (1) course pack reader, (2) lectures in our official website ( and (3) by reading taken lecture notes. Quizzes and exams may consist of identification, true-false, and short answer and essay sections. Exams may consist of open and closed book portions. Tests are under time pressure. My students will need an envelope to compile all returned quizzes and exams so that they may use these in the event that they would like to request for a re-computation of their grade.

Lecture Notes
Taking notes from lecture is a required part of class and an essential habit of serious students. On any given class period I may ask the student to show me his/her notes for that class period (I have the option to give merit or demerit in class participation.)

Reading Assignment as Homework
Essentially, the homework of students in this course is to read assigned texts. In between each class period, students are expected to review their lecture notes and the material covered in the previous class period, in addition to completing all assignments for the next class period.
Attendance and Class Participation Rules and Point Deductions
Attendance is mandatory; absences should be rare; tardiness and leaving early will be penalized; disrupting class is unacceptable. Each student will begin the term with 100 points for attendance and participation; these are the points to lose for violating class rules:

-15 points (for MWF classes) 20 points (for TTh classes) per absence

Excuse letters with corresponding medical certificate/supporting document must be duly received and noted within a week from date of the absent student’s return to class. Noted excuse letters should be filed to the instructor one day before the prelim/final examinations. No adjustment in class participation grade will be made if excuse letters are not received on said date/s.
Students who are attending co-curricular and/or extra-curricular activities (including tours, ushering assignments, thesis defences, trainings, seminars, contests, etc.) and would like to be excused from class will have to write me a formal letter of request BEFORE actual activity/ies. The excuse letter should be accompanied by duly approved supporting documents. This rule will be strictly implemented.

-10 points for arriving late or leaving early

-10 points for failing to bring your course pack and/or required materials

-10 points for failing to take lecture notes or completing homework

-10 points for disrupting class (examples are cell phones going off in class, having private conversations while class is in session, leaving your seat without permission in the middle of lecture, discussion, or other class activities, etc.) I may also confiscate your IDs and turn these over to the SWDB chair for appropriate action.

-100 points for cheating or plagiarizing, + failure for the assignment (notice that this means that if you cheat, you will most certainly fail the course. I reserve the right to refer a student to the Prefect of Discipline as well.

If a student has accumulated more than -100 points, he/she will earn 0 points for this portion of the grade and the remaining points will be deducted from his/her overall grade. I expect active rather than passive learning. All students must be prepared for class. All students in this course must be prepared to ask and answer questions and participate in class discussion.

Writing Assignment
Students enrolled in this course may write one paper during the term. I will provide separate assignment sheet for the writing assignment. The paper is due at the beginning of the class period on the date listed on the syllabus. Late papers will not be accepted.
Classroom Cleanliness and Order
My college students should not expect me to instruct them to clean/ pick up pieces of dirt from their respective areas as well as direct them to align their desks every single meeting. They must ensure that they are part of making the classroom in order so that it is conducive for learning. The classroom must be in order before I even come in. I may choose not to proceed with the day’s lecture/activity should I reckon that the classroom and the class are not ready in this respect. In which case, the class will be responsible in catching up with the missed session.
Academic Dishonesty
Student Responsibility: Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the university. Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts. Since scholastic dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the university, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. (Refer to the Student Handbook for more information.) Student/s who signed a slip/note or anything of that nature that directly or indirectly concern me or my course (to indicate to the dean’s office that I am absent in class, for instance) MUST inform me of such incident as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary conflicts (especially if I am not absent, but merely late for the class, for instance.) I shall file a charge against a student (or students) who commit/s an act that harms my integrity.

Emergency Academic Continuity Program
If available, academic courses, partially will be available on the ELEAP Blackboard Academic Suite management system. From time to time, I shall conduct graded quizzes using this technology. Students may also join group discussions to earn credit. I will also post official announcements in the system. Each student will also receive these announcements in their respective emails (the ones provided by UST.) Students, therefore, are responsible for the activation of their respective ELEAP accounts. This will allow me and my students to continue my teaching and learning via UST E-Learning Access Program (ELEAP), UST BLACKBOARD Academic Suite management system, in case the university shuts down as a result of a pandemic outbreak, typhoon, or any other natural disaster. If the university is forced to shut down, I shall notify my students using Blackboard on how to proceed with the course. If I chose not to use ELEAP for a particular given semester, my students may resort to the course’s official blog site. To receive credit for a course, it is the student's responsibility to complete all the requirements. Failure to access course materials once reasonably possible can result in a reduction of the student’s overall grade in the class. To facilitate the completion of classes, most or all of the communication between students and the institution, the faculty and fellow classmates will take place using the features in the ELEAP Blackboard and/or though the course’s website. In the event of a disaster, disease outbreak or other disruptions of normal operations that would result to the suspension of classes, all students must make every effort to access an internet-enabled computer as often as possible to continue the learning process.

Antonio Aguila, Joyce Arriola, John Jack Wigley. Philippine Literatures: text, themes, approaches. Manila: UST Publishing House, 2008.

Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta and Virginia Mata. Philippine Contemporary Literature in English: Tradition and Change. From the 20’s to the Present. Manila: University of Santo Tomas Press, 1985.
Gemino Abad, Gen. Ed. The Likhaan Anthology of Philippine Literature in English from 1900 to the Present. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 2002.
***subject to changes

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Bird by Tita Lacambra Ayala

Tita Lacambra Ayala

It was all of Sisa’s fault anyway. She said that if I sat beside the window facing the sea without moving, for hours on end, a bird would come and sit on my head and nest there. I mused over these for a long time while I watched her comb her hair with a big red comb.
I really don’t know why she does that, lave her thick head of long hair with coconut oil and comb it, unknotting all the snags from the scalp down over and over again until she looked like a black waterfall a-glisten with brilliant lights with the water falling down in straight lines, falling all over her front so that her body was fenced from sight, the tips of her hair touching her knees as she knelt on the floor.
Her quiet black-red black-red strokes of comb to head and down lulled me into a hypnotic state and all of a sudden I felt very lonely, like I wanted to go home somewhere but I didn’t know where. I swam in the feeling for awhile, staring at the blue flowers on her brown dress, and at the very pale undersides of her feet contrasted against the very dark sides of the rest of her.
When she was all oiled up like snake, she coiled her hair into a loose knot behind her head freeing her face to the light again. Her face had the fine brown skin that glistened from her own natural oils and the coconut essence, and I wondered vaguely if other parts of her body were just as oily, knowing that in a day or two she would probably smell rancid and overripe and would have to use steam or bathwater heated to boiling to wash away that oil again. Coconut cakes wrapped in banana leaves occurred to me and I began to feel very hungry.
She left the room carrying her coconut shell of remaining coconut oil, her red combed hitched to the back of her head. She left behind her a mixed smell in the small bamboo room which we shared, a small bamboo in a not-so-small bamboo house facing the sea, with sawali walls over and under which lizards wove their loveliness and housekeeping without a thought for human beings, leaving their droppings and their eggs everywhere, sometimes inside my baul.
Sisa’s pillow will have an oily mark when she sleeps tonight, I thought, then turned towards the window.
The sea was especially calm in the early afternoon sun, brownish at the shoreline and blue farther in, little ripples, just a few waves marking times of turning. If, as Sisa said, a bird would come would it notice my eyes and peck at them, or get curious about my nose? And that pearl earrings—would it think them seeds? The noonday sun cast a shining on everything, the unquiet coconut fronds trembled their own greenish lights and if I were to sit here at all for the bird I would have to lean with one side against the window, and face the bamboo cabinet where all the red pillows were piled atop each other fatly over all the folded blankets, and the amts on top rolled up like giant cigars.
I adjusted my seating on my baul, leaned my left elbow against the wide bamboo piece that was the window sill, and prepared to wait for the bird. I burped my lunchburp and smelled the gingerfish with pepper leaves all over again and longed mightily for a drink of water. But I would not stir now that I was in the right place and state of mind for waiting. I stared at the stack of red pillows and fell into a trance.
As it happened, it was not at trance at all- I had fallen asleep and with my left shoulder aching I opened my eyes to see Sisa sitting cross-legged on the floor before a low table covered with blankets, a glowing charcoal iron with a red handle to her left, its numerous scalloped eyes smoldering as it moved back-forth back-forth over a garment in the falling afternoon light. A pile of finished ironing was on a mat on her other side and at her elbow a wooden basin almost empty of dampened rolled laundry. Sisa was flecked with orange dots from the dying sun.
There was no bird at all, I told Sisa, turning away, looking out into the sea.
Sometimes when the waiting is strong the bird does not come, she said, her voice coming in waves as she pressed down on her iron. Then one day if you’re patient enough but nearing the end of your patience it will appear.
I mused over that and slapped at a mosquito that was sucking supper out of my toe.
Sometimes the bird takes a long time to come because it comes from a long way and the journey is troublesome. So long that even as it flies to you its limbs grow and its feathers lengthen, ageing in its flight. Some of them start as young birds and get to their destinations already adult and mature.
Don’t they ever turn back from getting tired? Some come over a wide sea, some in a storm, she answered, the waves in her voice growing like the rising tide. The orange in the sky turned lavender as the sun set and soon the sea was part of the sky.

A year passed since Sisa told me about magical birds and, very often as I was attuned to many other things, I decided that waiting for birds was not the best thing. For Sisa perhaps, yes, and women like her who lived by the sea all their lives, rising with the first shimmering of light by dawn and putting away their boats of charcoal irons when the sun set. But as for me I had breaks in the monotony of my life. Occasionally I went to town to call the Chinaman when it was time to haul away the coconuts, or hunted for the buyer of our vinegar and dried fishes, or helped Mother buy cloth to sell in the adjoining barrios. It was the idle days that left me time to dream about Sisa’s birds, and in that year that passed I must have sat by the window in all the hot searing days of summer.
Sometimes as I dove into the water then turned to float on my back I imagined the shadow of a wide winged white bird following me, beckoning to me out of the water and on to the house so that I might sit there and wait its imperative arrival. The shadow of the bird would be a cool cloud over my body.
At times in my sleep I would feel the clasp of its claws on my hip, its weight pressing me closer to the mat, its tail fanning my backside. And I would wake up to find the cat Musang draped asleep over me, her head hanging to my backside, her tail trailing against my thigh.
Sisa never said that the bird would come in the night but when the sea was still and the moon was up I thought it came in the guise of a bat gliding strongly among the palms. Or it was invisible like a wind and entered dead-blind into the bamboo house slapping against the sawali. Or not wanting that, silently perched on the nipa roof scudding in the nipa, resting its travel-worn head under its wing, hiding its eyes from the moonlight, its fine head feathers trembling in the seawind.
Sometimes it would be white gray markings –like a dove but larger. Other times it would be a bright blue like that of kingfishers, brilliant and elusive, the lone flash of color in the black of night. It went for short dips into the sea to catch some fish then came back on the rooftop to dry its salty feathers. Sometimes it was a silver with red markings at the tips of wings and tail, with red feet. But half-blind. And it would circle endlessly above the house and higher searching for me, uttering a forlorn cry, and never finding me would leave again, and my heart would yearn for it painfully in my dreams and I would sigh and cry into my red pillow silently. Somehow, waiting for the bird in the dark, in the night, was a more intense waiting than sitting up still by the window in the afternoon hours. The mysteries of the dark made him more changeable and fascinating, the span of wings wider, the song a deeper call. His reality extended from the sounds and shadows of the hours into the immeasurable ravines of sleep.
The rainy nights were difficult to bear. The bird circled around in the forest of the night, its feathers wet and heavy, its vision blinded by the rain. Sometimes it would find me and under all the wet feathers I would feel its hot skin, its heartbeat fast and strong under my hand.
One clammy morning, the air heavy with damp from the night's rain, I walked the coconut footpath towards the road inland from the sea. Father had complained that the Chinaman had not comet o haul away the coconuts as he had promised. It was my duty to go into town and remind him of what was to be done. Also, the last batch of fish drying on the fillet trays had not been salted properly and on top of that the rain had started to fall heavily before the fish could be taken away into the shade. Sisa had gone about the house in a distracted way as father scolded and mother proceeded to the granary to bring out some bundles of palay to pound. That morning the sun had risen too early and too hot, as if making up hastily for all the faults attributed to the rain that day before. Even the jeepney driver that brought me and the other barrio folk into town seemed morose and unhappy. My change when he handed it to me lacked a coin. I walked away without asking for it.
The Chinaman was not at his warehouse when I got there. He had
gone with his truck and driver to the north to bring in some molasses. I waited till almost noon and while the molasses were being unloaded he ate his lunch in between mouthfuls of which he promised to haul the coconuts the same day. I rode with him and his two men in the truck. He rode in front with the driver and another worker. I sat in the back of the truck shieldign my head and face with mother's checkered shawl. When I closed my eyes against the dust I saw red and orange lights, spots of violet and light green and blue dancing around in different sizes, advancing then re-arranging and blending inside my eyes. The truck floor was hard and twice over stones on the road I bumped my head against the wooden sides. The floor smelled of molasses and salted fish.
After father greeted the men from town I went to the water pump at the back of the house to wash my face and feet to hang out the shawl on a bamboo pole beside the stairs. I was hot and hungry and I called Sisa from the kitchen stairs, the smooth bamboo stairs creaking under my damp bare feet. Sisa did not meet me at the door clutching at her skirt as she usually did when I got back from town, asking questions about how the trip was and what I saw, or if what she had asked me to buy I had bought.
The kitchen window was shuttered down and I wondered if a strong wind had come to blow away the slender pole that held the shutter up like eyelashes over it.
I called to her again, meanwhile getting a wooden plate from the window shelf and lifting a pot lid for some food. Not getting any answer I sat down on the floor to eat, moistening my fingers in the water from a clay basin. The cold spicy sour fish with coconut milk and gabi leaves soothed me and very soon I noticed the sound of grain winnowing in baskets in the rice shed nearby. That means the pounding had been done and I would not be needed to help. My afternoon was free. I would go for a swim in the sea later and watch fishermen prepare their nets and boats. Later on I would go and look at the new litter of Carya's sow. Carya had promised me a female to keep as her sow had benn bred to mother's boar.
The door to our bedroom was barred when I tried to get in and wondered if Sisa was ill. I peeped through a crack between the fat wooden frame of the door and the door but I could see nothing because the room was dark.
Sisa, Sisa, open the door, I'm back from town and I need my towel, I called through. What are you doing in there?
Go away, came her voice. She sounded urgent and threatening. She sounded like she had a sore throat. I'm making a nest.
A nest? Where?
Here in the room.
With what are you building a nest? Straw?
My dreamworld of birds that Sisa had started in my mind was being quickly spurred on again and what she was doing in there suddenly seemed the most exciting thing. A dreamworld come to earth. A fantasy coming true. I imagined myself likewise making a nest with straw and palm fronds. Mother's shawl, soft and downy things. Anything. Anything.
People's clothes, she said. And blankets.
I want to see. I almost shrieked. Let me in.
She made no sound except shuffling, and I could hear the bamboo slats of the floor moving under her feet as she negotiated distance.
Let me in!
I went back to the kitchen for the bolo used for cutting firewood. I inserted the bolo into the door crack and pushed upwards to disloge the strip of wood that was used to bar down the door. The bar fell to the bamboo floor with a clatter and I pushed my way in.
My eyes widened in the closed room. Sisa was seated on the floor beside my baul. She was completely naked, her hair undone from its neat oily topknot. She was surrounded by a circular pile of clothing which I recognized as the laundry that had been out on the poles the day before. They were the clothing that she should have been ironing at that time of the day. The pillow rack was empty and I recognized the pillows among the surrounding humps of material around her. She was just there sitting in the middle of her nest, staring at me with dark round eyes with something like amusement and smugness in them, just as if she expected me to envy her.
An invisible breath of wind pushed in through the door and I felt cold. Outside I could hear grain being winnowed in baskets, and a coconut midrib broom scraping the dried cowdung floor to gather up fallen grain. I looked cautiously around the room as I backed out slowly, half expecting to be confronted by the presence of something that has long been expected and had finally arrived. I could see nothing else, I could see no one. Only Sisa smiling at me with strange sharp eyes. And I knew that even as I did not see the one who had arrived, that it was there in that room and it was eyeing me curiously, questioning my impertinent presence.
I closed the door as quietly as I could, pulling it into place onto the door frame, picked up the bolo, tiptoed the kitchen and down the stairs towards the rice shed to call mother.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Lesson Overview

Poetry or Prose?

What makes a good poem?

Form and Content

Organic Unity

Poetry or Prose?

Some questions to consider:

Does the piece make use of metaphorical or figurative language?

Does it have concreteness, particularity, sensuous shape?

Is it a piece that should not be read on its literal sense alone?

Metaphorical/Figurative Language

The use of metaphorical/figurative language is the use of the different figures of speech.

Figures of speech gives us the pleasure of recognizing similarities in the otherwise different natures of objects

Denotative Language

By concreteness, we mean poetry’s use of visuals in terms of IMAGES.

By particularity, we mean the use of specific objective reality or situation, a particular emotion, or a particular point of theme.

Literal vs Figurative

Is it a piece that should be read on the literal sense alone?

Figurative language-A form of language use in which writers and speakers convey something other than the literal meaning of their words.

Literal language -A form of language in which writers and speakers mean exactly what their words denote.

SNAIL by Conchitina Cruz
You fall behind
Because of the cloud
On your back.
It is heavy
With rainwater.

When I stop
To wait,
You hide
In the cloud,
Choosing to drown.

Beauty Truth
Pleasure Instruction
Artfulness Lesson

All the parts work together. Every element in it contributes to the meaning and the beauty of the work.
Culinary Arts

Emotional/Intellectual Value
A good poem then possesses concentration and intensity that makes it memorable.
Brings an engagement of the senses, the emotional, the mind.

Poetry may be this or that, but it shouldn’t necessarily be this or that, except delirious and lucid.
Robert Desnos


Ang pusa sa aking durungawan ay
Payat at itim gaya
Ng iyong pag-ibig
Sa akin
Labis siyang matakaw
At kahit balat ng mani ay
Hapunan sa kanya
Kagabi habang
Puso ko’y lunod sa ungol
Dahil di nagbunga ang samo ko sa’yo
At ubos na ang pulot ng aking puso
Tila ulol
Na inatake niya ang isdang tanging
Ulam ko sa papag at padambang
Tinangay ito sa palupad ng kisame

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Some Literary Terms

setting the time and place of the action in a story, poem, or play.

(authorial time is distinct from plot time and reader time, authorial time denotes the influence that the time in which the author was writing had upon the conception and style of the text.)

in medias res "in the midst of things"; refers to opening a story in the middle of the action, necessitating filling in past details by exposition or flashback.

flashback a plot-structuring device whereby a scene from the fictional past is inserted into the fictional present or dramatized out of order.


plot/plot structure the arrangement of the action.

plot summary a description of the arrangement of the action in the order in which it actually appears in a story. The term is popularly used to mean the description of the history, or chronological order, of the action as it would have appeared in reality. It is important to indicate exactly in which sense you are using the term.

plot time the temporal setting in which the action takes place in a story or play.


exposition that part of the structure that sets the scene, introduces and identifies characters, and establishes the situation at the beginning of a story or play. Additional exposition is often scattered throughout the work.

rising action the second of the five parts of plot structure, in which events complicate the situation that existed at the beginning of a work, intensifying the conflict or introducing new conflict.

falling action the fourth part of plot structure, in which the complications of the rising action are untangled.

turning point the third part of plot structure, the point at which the action stops rising and begins falling or reversing. Also called climax.

conclusion the fifth part of plot structure, the point at which the situation that was destabilized at the beginning of the story becomes stable once more.


(1) a fictional personage who acts, appears, or is referred to in a work;
(2) a combination of a person’s qualities, especially moral qualities, so that such terms as "good" and "bad," "strong" and "weak," often apply.

major (main) characters those characters whom we see and learn about the most.

minor characters those figures who fill out the story but who do not figure prominently in it.

hero/heroine the leading male/female character, usually larger than life, sometimes almost godlike.

protagonist the main character in a work, who may be male or female, heroic or not heroic. protagonist is the most neutral term.

antagonist a neutral term for a character who opposes the leading male or female character. also the villain.


characterization the fictional or artistic presentation of a fictional personage. A term like "a good character" can, then, be ambig-uous—it may mean that the personage is virtuous or that he or she is well presented regardless of his or her characteristics or moral qualities.

flat character a fictional character, often but not always a minor character, who is relatively simple; who is presented as having few, though sometimes dominant, traits; and who thus does not change much in the course of a story.

round characters complex characters, often major characters, who can grow and change and "surprise convincingly"—that is, act in a way that you did not expect from what had gone before but now accept as possible, even probable, and "realistic."

stereotype a characterization based on conscious or unconscious assumptions that some one aspect—such as gender, age, ethnic or national identity, religion, occupation, marital status, and so on—is predictably accompanied by certain character traits, actions, even values.
persona and personality

persona the voice or figure of the author who tells and structures the story and who may or may not share the values of the actual author.

personality that which distinguishes or individualizes a person; its qualities are judged not so much in terms of their moral value, as in "character," but as to whether they are "pleasing" or "unpleasing."


narrator the character who "tells" the story.

first-person narrator a character, "I," who tells the story and necessarily has a limited point of view; may also be an unreliable narrator.

second-person narrator a character, "you," who tells the story and necessarily has a limited point of view; may be seen as an extension of the reader, an external figure acting out a story, or an auditor; may also be an unreliable narrator.

third-person narrator a character, "he" or "she," who "tells" the story; may have either a limited point of view or an omniscient point of view; may also be an unreliable narrator.

The unreliable narrator
unreliable narrator a speaker or voice whose vision or version of the details of a story are consciously or unconsciously deceiving; such a narrator’s version is usually subtly undermined by details in the story or the reader’s general knowledge of facts outside the story. If, for example, the narrator were to tell you that Magellan was Spanish and that he discovered Manila in the fourteenth century when his ship Victoria landed on the coast of Boracay near present-day Palawan, you might not trust other things he tells you.

implied author the guiding personality or value system behind a text; the implied author is not necessarily synonymous with the actual author

voice the acknowledged or unacknowledged source of a story’s words; the speaker; the "person" telling the story.

Focus and point of view

focus the point from which people, events, and other details in a story are viewed. This term is sometimes used to include both focus and voice.

point of view also called focus; the point from which people, events, and other details in a story are viewed.

omniscient point of view also called unlimited point of view; a perspective that can be seen from one character’s view, then another’s, then another’s, or can be moved in or out of any character’s mind at any time. Organization in which the reader has access to the perceptions and thoughts of all the characters in the story.

limited point of view or limited focus a perspective pinned to a single character, whether a first-person-or a third-person-centered consciousness, so that we cannot know for sure what is going on in the minds of other characters; thus, when the focal character leaves the room in a story we must go, too, and cannot know what is going on while our "eyes" or "camera" is gone. A variation on this, which generally has no name and is often lumped with the omniscient point of view, is the point of view that can wander like a camera from one character to another and close in or move back but cannot (or at least does not) get inside anyone’s head and does not present from the inside any character’s thoughts.

unlimited point of view also called omniscient point of view; a perspective that can be seen from one character’s view, then another’s, then another’s, or can be moved in or out of any character’s mind at any time. Organization in which the reader has access to the perceptions and thoughts of all the characters in the story.

centered (central) consciousness a limited third-person point of view, one tied to a single character throughout the story; this character often reveals his or her inner thoughts but is unable to read the thoughts of others.

(1) a generalized, abstract paraphrase of the inferred central or dominant idea or concern of a work;
(2) the statement a poem makes about its subject.

(1) the concrete and literal description of what a story is about;
(2) the general or specific area of concern of a poem—also called topic; (3) also used in fiction commentary to denote a character whose inner thoughts and feelings are recounted
genre the largest category for classifying literature—fiction, poetry, drama.

motif a recurrent device, formula, or situation that deliberately connects a poem with common patterns of existing thought.

canon when applied to an individual author, canon (like oeuvre) means the sum total of works written by that author. When used generally, it means the range of works that a consensus of scholars, teachers, and readers of a particular time and culture consider "great" or "major." This second sense of the word is a matter of debate since the literary canon in Europe and America has long been dominated by the works of white men. During the last several decades, the canon in the United States has expanded considerably to include more works by women and writers from various ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Tragedy a drama in which a character (usually a good and noble person of high rank) is brought to a disastrous end in his or her confrontation with a superior force (fortune, the gods, social forces, universal values), but also comes to understand the meaning of his or her deeds and to accept an appropriate punishment. Often the protagonist’s downfall is a direct result of a fatal flaw in his or her character.

high (verbal) comedy humor that employs subtlety, wit, or the representation of refined life.

low (physical) comedy humor that employs burlesque, horseplay, or the representation of unrefined life.

memory devices also called mnemonic devices; these devices—including rhyme, repetitive phrasing, and meter—when part of the structure of a longer work, make that work easier to memorize.

imagery broadly defined, any sensory detail or evocation in a work; more narrowly, the use of figurative language to evoke a feeling, to call to mind an idea, or to describe an object.

irony a situation or statement characterized by a significant difference between what is expected or understood and what actually happens or is meant. See cosmic irony, dramatic irony, and situational irony.

sourced from w.w. norton and company

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Bird by Tita Lacambra Ayala

Sorry, guys. I do not have a soft copy of this story. You might want to check it in the book The Children's Hour: Stories on Childhood. Volume 1. Edited by Gemino Abad. Published by University of the Philippines Press, 2008

The story also appeared in the reader that was used by LIT102 ITHM students 1st semester of SY 2007-2008. There is also a film adaptation of this text by some Tourism students available on youtube. May I reiterate though that you should read the text and not merely watch the film.

I will bring my copy in school. A representive from your class can see me at the faculty room anytime tomorrow from 1-7PM and borrow my copy for reproduction.

Make sure you read the text when you come to my class next meeting. Bring your copies as well. I shall check for merit.

LIKE THE MOLAVE by Rafael Zulueta da Costa

Not yet, rizal, not yet. Sleep not in peace:
There are a thousand waters to be spanned;
There are a thousand mountains to be crossed;
There are a thousand crosses to be borne.
Our shoulders are not strong; our sinews are
Grown flaccid with dependence, smug with ease
Under another’s wing. Rest not in peace;
Not yet, Rizal, not yet. The land has need
Of young blood-and, what younger than your own,
Forever spilled in the great name of freedom,
Forever oblate on the altar of
The free? Not you alone, Rizal. O souls
And spirits of the martyred brave, arise!
Arise and scour the land! Shed once again
Your willing blood! Infuse the vibrant red
Into our thin anaemic veins; until
We pick up your Promethean tools and, strong,
Out of the depthless matrix of your of your faith
In us, and on the silent cliffs of freedom,
We carve for all time your marmoreal dream!
Until our people, seeing, are become
Like the molave, firm, resilent, staunch,
Rising on the hillside, unafraid,
Strong in its own fibre, yes, like the molave!


I have observed pink monks eating blue raisins.
And I have observed blue monks eating pink raisins.
Studiously have I observed.

Now this is the way a pink monk eats a blue raisin:
Pink is he and it is blue and the pink
swallows the blue. I swear this is true.

And the way a blue monk eats a pink raisin is this:
Blue is he and it is pink and the blue
swallows the pink. And this is also truth.

Indeed I have observed and myself have partaken
of blue and pink raisins. But my joy was different:
My joy was to see the blue and the pink counterpointing.