M Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

"May Day Eve" By Nick Joaquin A Short Story by a National Artist of The Philippines

The most read posts are those I have done are on older short stories by authors from the Philippines. Of 1800 plus posts, the top viewed posts are all on short stories by Filipino writers.  In part this is because the stories  are required reading in universities. I know it is more than this as the posts are all widely read in places in the Middle East with many offshore workers.  These stories are beautifully written, very honest and deeply felt ( none of the authors made more than a few Pesos from them) and very real.  They are also very valuable artifacts for students of Filipino history.   Perhaps they are not world class art but they are very much worth reading.



Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín (May 4, 1917 – April 29, 2004 - aka Nick-born in Manila) was a journalist, historian and writer.  He is best known now for his short stories and novels depicting life in the country under Spanish rule.  

"May Day Eve" begins in 1847 and ends in 1890.  You need to read it carefully to understand what is going on.  As the story opens we are at a ball in a fine hacienda.  The ball is in honor of a group of young men who have just returned from Spain after being educated there, as was the custom for the upper class.  The young women at the ball are very excited to be there, knowing their future husbands will probably come from this group.  Now the story gets more interesting as an old servant woman tells the girls if they look in a certain mirror at just the right time, they will see their future husband.  You recall I told you the story ends in 1890?  You really need to read it to find out why.  In a way it iris a story about getting old, how decades can change a marriage.  You can find this story online if you Google search it.  

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