Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rizal's noli to be translated in english?!

while i was researching for my thesis, i saw this article. it talks about how rizal's work is going to be translated in english for the aussies and, check this out, rizal has a total of six landmarks in australia!!!

btw, this article is 2 years old...

Rizal's Noli hits major Aussie book shelves

The next time you visit a bookstore in the "land down under," you may want to stop by the aisle where Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations" or Jane Austen’s “Persuasion" is placed.

Don't be surprised to find a new 480-page English translation of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere sharing the same shelf space with other literary greats in several major bookstores in Australia.

Philippine Consul General Maria Theresa Lazaro reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs from Sydney that the latest English translation of Noli is now being sold in Sydney's bookstores.

Penguin Books Classics executive editor, Elda Rotor, said that the publication of Rizal’s acclaimed novel “represents Penguin’s commitment to publish the major literary classics of the world."

This is also the first instance that the said publishing company released a Southeast Asian book under its well-known banner.

Among the notable literary classics that Penguin has published is the controversial American novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which interestingly, inspired Rizal’s very own Noli.

The Australian edition of the novel was translated by Harold Augenbraum, and is geared to suit contemporary American English, according to Penguin Classics.

The American writer who is currently the executive director of the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards first got hold of Noli in 1992.

Augenbraum was so fascinated by the story, that he read Rizal’s sequel, El Filibusterismo.

Being very well acquainted with translating other Latin literary works, Augenbraum immediately proposed to translate Noli when Penguin asked him to choose his next assignment.

Penguin was initially intrigued about the novel albeit clueless on the broad influence it gave to Filipino revolutionists in the late 1800s.

But after knowing more about it they decided to drop the plans of adapting an existing English-language translation (“The Social Cancer") and became determined to have a new translation.

Almost ‘untouchable’

Noli Me Tangere is a Latin version of the words spoken, according to the Gospel of John, by Jesus to Mary Magdalene, meaning "don't touch me."

And Augenbraum agreed that Rizal’s novel was almost “untouchable," in terms of the relative difficulty of translating the original Spanish text to English.

“The harder part was to compile the notes that would explain the many, many religious and cultural references Rizal used," Augenbraum said. “The US is not steeped in the Catholic faith and many Americans will probably be reading about the Philippines for the first time."

The American editor further emphasized the importance of Asian-Americans to read Rizal’s classic as well as teaching the literature in US colleges. He also added that the story is dogmatic and should be classified as fiction.

“In my introduction to the Noli, I discuss Rizal becoming a sort of ‘santo’ in the Filipino diaspora, no longer a real personage, and I question whether he ever really was a real person, since he saw himself as part of Philippine narrative history and acted accordingly. Although some people have compared Rizal to (19th-century Cuban writer and patriot) Jose Marti, Marti has never attained the supernatural status of Rizal," Augenbraum explained.

Meanwhile, Penguin Classics reiterated the importance of the novel in World literature.

“(It) was the first major artistic manifestation of Asian resistance to European colonialism, and Rizal became a guiding conscience—and martyr—for the revolution that would subsequently rise up in the Spanish province," the book’s blurb read.

‘Noli’ with ‘Aussies’

Philippine Consul General to Sydney Maria Theresa Lazaro expressed her appreciation to the international publishing company for the release of Rizal’s masterpiece in the Australian market.

In a letter to Penguin Classics, Lazaro said on behalf of the Philippine government, that the publication of Noli "would be very much welcomed by the now 160,000 Filipino-Australians as a lasting tribute to the Philippine national hero."

"The availability of the Noli to the broader Australian audience grants Dr. Rizal with the long overdue recognition as a world-class writer alongside his contemporaries Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi," Lazaro added.

Lazaro went further by saying, “The Noli provides a very helpful glimpse into a specific period of Philippine history, and is an invaluable piece of literature that I hope future generations of Filipino-Australians would be able to appreciate."

While Rizal never set foot on this land famous for its koalas and kangaroos, it is little-known that he has a total of six landmarks in Australia.

About three Rizal Parks are situated in Campbelltown and Blacktown in the State of New South Wales as well as one in the City of Ballarat in the State of Victoria.

The Philippine national hero also has a bust in Sydney’s Central Train Station, a statue in Ashfield and a street named in honor of him in Campbelltown. - Mark J. Ubalde, GMANews.TV

want to read the english version of noli me tangere? click here.