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Joaquin, Nick. TROPICAL BAROQUE: FOUR MANILENO THEATRICALS. Queensland, Australia: University Of Queensland Press, 1982. Hardcover. First Edition Thus/First Printing. 224 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective collection of plays. Their first appearance in a Hardcover Edition. Published in an extremely small and limited print run as Volume 19 of the Queensland University Press' now-legendary "Asian and Pacific Writing" Series. The second such volume to be devoted to the author, the first being "Tropical Gothic: Selected Stories" (Volume 2). Introduction by both the General Editors and Jeremy Beckett, an Australian scholar on Philippine and Asian literature. Glossary of Philippine terms appended at the beginning. Presents four of Nick Joaquin's finest and most representative plays in one handsomely and meticulously produced volume: "A Portrait of the Artist As Filipino", the greatest Philippine play in English, "Tatarin", "Fathers and Sons", and "The Beatas". Despite the uneven quality of his oversize body of work (which seems inescapable with every large oeuvre), Nick Joaquin remains the most provocative, most insightful, and most "universal" Philippine writer of our time. While it obviously helps to have an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts behind his works, the works themselves are about history and context albeit in the author's highly idiosyncratic and still-controversial perspective. Joaquin is both a universalist and a nationalist. His central insight is that every modern culture is "Creole", and none more so than his beloved Philippines. His stubborn resistance to attempts by well-meaning nationalists to purify the Philippine "soul" of foreign influences is now universally regarded as having been right all along. By way of contrast, one need not look very far indeed: Pol Pot imagined and implemented a Cambodian "purification" project (as did Mao's Cultural Revolution), with catastrophic effects, a tragedy and barbarism of genocidal proportions. A National Artist, Joaquin will be remembered for one masterly novel, "The Woman Who Had Two Navels" (first published in its entirety by The Partisan Review in 1959), the essays in "Culture and History and "A Question of Heroes", his short stories, and these four plays, all of them first-rate and deserving of a world audience. Nick Joaquin died in November 2004, an irreplaceable loss to Philippine literature. A brilliant collection, this is a "must-have" title for Nick Joaquin collectors. This is an Import title, was not commercially distributed even in Australia, has been out of print for a very long time, and is now collectible. Unlike the University of Queensland Press' problematic large-print-run releases, it is published on fine, pristine-white paper. This is the only copy of the First Hardcover Edition still available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A rare copy thus. The greatest Philippine writer of the 20th century. A fine copy. . ISBN 0702216437. $70.00

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