Dead Stars Face to Face Book Discussion Details:
- Date: February 24, 2013
- Place: Q Bistro, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
- Time: 4 PM to 8 PM
- Discussion Leader: Tina
- Attendees: Me, Aaron, Aenna, Alexa, Alona, Beejay, Bennard, Berna, Biena, Cary, Clai, Celina, Chika, Ella, Ingrid, JL, Maria, Patrick, Ranee, Reev, Rhena, Ruby, Sheryl, Sophie, Toni, Veronica, Wilfred
- Food I Ate: Spaghetti with meatballs, chocolate milkshake, Ferrero Rochers (from Beejay), beer
- Post-discussion Activity: Speed dating with the members, love letter reading by four selected members, 18 blue gifts for Alexa the debutante
- After the Book Discussion: Ate dinner at Gerry’s Grill – Metrowalk
- Other Nominated Books: Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra, From This Day Forward by Marla Miniano
Thoughts from the Members:
But maybe, we have to stop loving with eyes wide shut. Before it’s too late, we have to wake up and face reality. Because this love may be classified as an abstract noun, it is all the more an emotion, and the greatest task bestowed upon us, lovers, is to be able to decipher if the feeling is real or just a by product of our ‘dreams’.
A typical MMK story.
Filled with deep, big, at times unnecessary, English words, I cannot help but feel that too much effort has been put in making use of every English word that the author has learned. Still, putting into context that this story was written at a time when Filipinos have started to learn the American language, the adeptness of the author in applying what she has learned is at least worthy of appreciation. Of course, literary styles have evolved since then and the verbose style in Dead Stars might not be that attractive anymore to contemporary readers.
The fancy words, the flowery expressions, they infuriated me. I cannot believe that a fellow Filipino wrote Dead Stars. Not because I did not think we are that talented (because we are), but because this short story was claimed to have given birth to modern Philippine writing and yet, it did nothing, nothing to make itself accessible to Filipinos that can barely read/speak the English language. Why? The rhetorical words composing such elaborate sentences strucked me as a forceful effort to unconciously make itself known that the writer can speak/write in English!
Perhaps, Alfredo loved Julia at that time, when they met. Perhaps, if they were living in our present time, where engagements are called off left and right (and some, even on the very day of the wedding itself) and society no longer has any bearing on life-altering, personal decisions, they could have stood a chance at a better ending than that. Perhaps if Alfredo were man enough to acknowledge his feelings for Julia, and did something about it, without fear of repercussion from their families and the society in general, then Julia would not have been a “dead star,” and he would have been happy.
I did not much like the story because of Alfredo’s unfaithfulness. What does he want, a reserve or back up? Oh please. If he truly loves a girl, he wouldn’t hesitate a bit (well, just my opinion).
This is a story of eloquence. Its worth is not only in its story because the story is simple- a love triangle. Paz Benitez made it such that words rolled in my tongue. It was almost like poetry but with more narrative prose. And knowing she made this in that time where women are trying to find their niche in society makes it more wonderful. I guess, the year 1925 is really beautiful.
Benitez is a master poet. She throws in a thesaurus of adjectives into her prose and they fall perfectly on top of each other, allowing the narrative to flow forward. The exchanges were unnatural but I didn’t care. :) The plot is believable. Fact that the author was able to tell the story from a man’s perspective is commendable.
My write-up here.
Photos courtesy of Reev.