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Showing posts from September 5, 2004

Reading Matthew... part 2

Interpretation, by definition, is always perspectival and particular. In other words, everything-including the supposedly objective historical-critical method-is reader response. My selective literary analysis of Matthew as imperializing text presupposes the reality of empire as backdrop to the construction of the narrative. Many Filipinos employ a similar assumption when engaging Filipino resistance literature: Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, Francisco Baltazar's Florante at Laura, and Carlos Bulosan's America is in the Heart. My analysis does not equate the Gospel of Matthew with historical facts. What it does is argue that the Gospel is a narrative discourse constructed and framed by a particular historical setting, in this case the Roman Imperial occupation. Anti-colonialist Frantz Fanon and educator Paolo Freire show that dynamics leading to literary production exist not only between the colonizer and the colonized, but also between various i…