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The road chronotope in rural colonial Philippines

Authors
  • Reyes, Maria Luisa Torres
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers of Narrative Studies
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Aug 05, 2022
Volume
8
Issue
1
Pages
10–27
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/fns-2022-2012
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Through a chronotopic reading of “How My Brother Leon Brought home a Wife” by Manuel E Arguilla, a famous short story in English included in textbooks and anthologies of Philippine literature published during the American colonial era, the role of the contextual “background” features of fiction are brought into the textual foreground in order to focus on their dynamic relations. This attention to the mutual constitution of the text and context which are conventionally understood to be exclusive if not exclusionary of each other is meant to show how, in fact, the spatio-temporal structuring and generic framing of the text highlight the role of the “aesthetic” (the “intrinsic” textual elements of artistic form) while also foregrounding the very “politics” of the story’s context (the “extrinsic” contextual reality of society out there). Indeed, as the paper argues through a broadly narratological close reading of “How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife,” the story’s chronotope shows how text and context are mutually constitutive and inextricable spatio-temporal dimensions of the story embodying the story’s textual framing and structuring, marking its narratological significance, both aesthetically and politically against the larger backdrop of resistance movements during the American colonial period.

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