there," he said, as you here came up to call on him. He,
Vicente-Ignacio Soria de Veyra,
perhaps safely classifiable on the shelf as a Filipino poet, fiction writer, social and cultural critic,
online art magazine editor and art journalist/critic, rock music
dilettante, non-professional artist
and retired ad man, would, I believe, welcome you all in his turn with a
quick "hello there," to
this, his online-books
website; and he did, didn't he? when you went up to call on him---he greeted
you all nonchalantly, . . .
So here you are now.
And so, come inside. Inside this,
his own vanity press if you will, where you might find
displayed, exhibited---all for FREE, we hear---Vicente-Ignacio's scribbles, nibbles, and gargles
on subjects and themes informing the stuff that's in here. Everything here: from his online
poetry and fiction books to his social and cultural criticism, to certain other
miscellaneous notes on some books or films or pop music by others. And
somewhere here, should you have the patience to look for them, you may be able
to glimpse some past ad writing of his, and believe it or not, it's been
overheard that he promised to here put up pages dedicated to his failed attempt to enter the Philippine rock music industry
in 2006 as Tandang Soria with a band called Groupies' Panciteria!
Now, it has been rumored that he titled
this virtual museum
library of his after the title of
one of his poetry volumes---"How People Respond To Them, Yet Know Them Not"---,
which title was culled in turn
from a line in a Walt Whitman piece, perhaps as his way of acknowledging the
fact---or so the
daily duty is to take his subjects as well as his contexts as seriously as he
way lawyers and social
scientists treat their clients and funding sources so enthusiastically. Seriously,
the manner of those writers whose wont had been to fulfill their duty towards
contexts in more figurative, entertaining ways.
By the word "them" in this site's
title's "Respond to Them,"
it is not clear if Vicente-Ignacio meant to reference his pieces or his pieces'
subject-objects and subject-persons/characters. Might he also have been
acknowledging the fact that certain of his pieces could be more about his
art than his subjects, or more about his subjects than about his art, with
his readers terribly left hanging with those questions? If he was
acknowledging both, does that mean that he intended some degree of openness,
as his literary gesture of respect for his readers? For if he did intend
either, would that mean that he values the one no more than the other, and
expects his readers to treat both (art and theme) equally?
But as for the entertainment value in a
writer's works, the other art part, it is possible that Vicente-Ignacio deems entertainment necessary instead of irritating.
For, indeed, as writers and lawyers and social scientists continue to fight their puny little wars
for causes (big causes as they may be), be they social/political or aesthetic
causes, these warrings are certain to offend people who would rather have society at
apathetic to the vagueness (or elusiveness) of contexts and meanings. Thus,
perhaps, Vicente-Ignacio's need to cling to those entertaining weapons, as sarcasm, irony, or the denial of perfect
clarity through a "neo-surrealist" mimicry or parody of language
might be entertaining. Otherwise, these are used for the solemn
voice of eulogies upon phenomena declared of no value by certain cultural
powers now ecstatic over these phenomena's lost audience or slow fading into
obscurity. Perhaps, perhaps.
But now, you ask, what's Vicente's approach to "letting
people know"? Well, from the political as well as the aesthetic standpoint, be warned.
You may find that certain of the views---political
aesthetic---in this his site may just be too progressivist social liberal for
your friends with conservative tastes, too indie for those
of them with a clique-leaning tradition, too dark for a coffeeshop
latte-junkie aunt, or simply lame to an uncle's "extremist" dreams.