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Diaspora as Historical/Political Trope in Philippine Literature


Texts of Philippine literature are marked by a desire for movement and mobility - moving away of epic heroes to fight battles, tricksters in folktales outdoing the powerful, return of the male hero (in Rizal's novels) to the homeland and their nostalgia for the ideals of European liberalism, diasporic literature's melancholia (including Filipino American novels) for the mother-nation, among others. These parallel the culmination of a national desire for diasporic movement and mobility as eight million Filipinos presently assume the identity of the overseas contract worker. The article examines diaspora as a historical and political trope in Philippine literature, a way to trace the cultural politics behind the present intensive movement of Filipino labor worldwide.

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