Friday, February 08, 2008

Dean Francis Alfar's Talk At AdMU

On Feb. 1, 2007, I went to attend Palanca award winner Dean Alfar's talk to Heights, the literary club of Ateneo de Manila, at the School of Management Building of the University along Katipunan in Q.C. The Heights members knew their genres well, as was evident as Dean expounded on how he dissects and categorizes stories.

A quote from his talk: "For me, realism is just another genre, in the same way that fantasy, scifi, horror, etc. are all genres." Being the major proponent of speculative fiction in the Philippines, Dean's goal has been to elevate this type of fiction to the same respected level as realism. Dean quoted Palanca award winner Sarge Lacuesta, literary editor of The Philippines Free Press, who told him that, "There is no such thing as genre", which I've taken to mean that Sarge is genre blind and reads stories, not genres. I've gotten on the soap box often enough saying "a story is a story is a story", meaning that one should read and write the stories that one can, and leave the categorizing and organizing to publishers and booksellers.

I've sent Dean all the pics I took , and out of respect I'll let him blog about his talk. Hey Dean, I hope you don't mind my quoting you above.

We had an interesting conversation on the way back from Q.C. to Pasig, perhaps the subject of another blogpost sometime in the future.


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