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An Eagle Flight

José Rizal

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . even penetrate the tombs, through earthquake fissures, and fill their yawning gaps.

At this hour two men are digging near the crumbling wall. One, the grave-digger, works with the utmost indifference, throwing aside a skull as a gardener would a stone. The other is preoccupied; he perspires, he breathes hard.

“Oh!” he says at length in Tagalo. “Hadn’t we better dig in some other place? This grave is too recent.”

“All the graves are the same, one is as recent as another.” [53]

“I can’t endure this!”

“What a woman! You should go and be a clerk! If you had dug up, as I did, a boy of twenty days, at night, in the rain——”

“Uh-h-h! And why did you do that?”

The grave-digger seemed surprised.

“Why? How do I know, I was ordered to.”

“Who ordered you?”

At thi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

My third time to read this most important novel ever in the Philippines. The first two, I read in Tagalog (in high school as a requirement and two years ago as a group read in a book club). This time, I read the English version. This particular translation is said to be the best because this was...more

When I picked up a novel with a stunning title like Noli Me Tangere (Touch me Not), I expected to encounter a work dredged in corporeal, visceral experience and language. I wanted a novel centered on the function of touch: human interaction, physicality, phenomenology, flesh. I didn’t get this in...more

At age thirty-five, José Rizal was sentenced to death by a firing squad because of what he wrote. Even at death he was a rebel, refusing a blindfold and requesting to face his executors. After over three centuries of colonial resentment, the Philippine Revolution had begun. The title of this nove...more

from The Book Hooligan

"I die without seeing the dawn brighten over my native land! You, who have it to see, welcome it — and forget not those who have fallen during the night!" - Elias

I know of two anecdotes regarding Rizal's poem, Mi Ultimo Adios. The first anecdote is about how US Congressman H...more

This book is the most important literary work in the Philippines. One hundred twenty-six (126) after it was written, its message is still relevant to us Filipinos. I have also read a lot of other books written by local authors and, for me, the quality of Rizal’s writing is still unsurpassed.

"Noli...more

Noli Me Tangere is described on the back cover as ‘The novel that sparked the Philippine revolution’. Which sounds a bit hyperbolic, but apparently the publication of the novel in 1887 was an important moment; even more so, Rizal’s subsequent execution for rebellion, sedition and conspiracy.

So it...more

"If you were given the chance, how would you improve Rizal's Noli?"

My classmate raised that question in one of my reports in Life and Works of Rizal.

"I won't," I said.
"Why?" our professor, who was seated at the back, asked me.

"Who am I to judge a masterpiece?"

---

But here I am writing a review of...more

The pen is mightier than the sword, they say, and it is not often that one has the opportunity to read a novel that has forged an independence movement. Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) (1887) by José Rizal is such a book, for although its author advocated reform not independence, the novel was so...more

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