Cha just gave me a copy of Harold Augenbraum’s translation of Noli Me Tangere; the same book that made all the headlines last December 31 (surprisingly). She laughed, as she gave it to me, and said that I would finally understand what the Noli was all about.
To be very frank, I was put off the Noli by a teacher in my freshman year of college. Remember that part of the Noli where Padre Damaso is given a bowl of chicken tinola that only had a chicken wing and neck in it? Yeah. Well, my Rizal teacher insisted that that meant that Ibarra (or Rizal) was sending Damaso (or the Friars) the message that “if you don’t fly (the wing) out of here, I will slit your throat (the neck).”
Now, I don’t know why that folksy interpretation grated on me, but it did. As a result, I skimmed the Noli and learned only enough from it to pass the Rizal course. Much to my regret, of course.
In any case, with this new volume – and in English – I hope to undo some of the damage done to me by that teacher. Who knows? I might even come to agree with his wing-and-neck theory. But I doubt it.