"Dead Stars" is actually a short story written by Paz Marquez Benitez in 1925, which ushered in an era of Philippine writing in English.
The story is mainly about three people: Esperanza, Alfredo Salazar, and Julia Salas. Esperanza and Alfredo are engaged to be married, and during this period, Alfredo met Julia who he grew very fond of to the point where he almost "unwished" his inevitable marriage to Esperanza. It didn't quite end like most Filipino readers would expect today, though, which I'm glad because it not only cut through the mundane predictability of modern day local tellings that bore me to tears but it also gave the story a great sense of believability. It's never bad to have something like that every once in a while.
I saw myself in the shoes of the said female characters; the story, a section of an old romantic life—the untold and the denied. I was once an Esperanza and a Julia at certain "phases" in that relationship, maybe even an Alfredo upon realizing and seeing only dead stars. Perhaps I was him first.
I can go on and on about what's niggling in my head right now, but I don't want to bother you with that closed chapter of my life.
So going back—
One might find this short story a bit difficult to read and comprehend due to the number of highfaluting words in them. I found it annoying that I had to stop reading to look up the meaning of a word almost every 15 seconds only to find out that the word has a more simple synonym that the author could have used but didn't. Such were the "writings of old", I guess.
Anyway, I'm giving this three stars because I like the story. And, yes, I think I just gave my grey matter its much needed nourishment by knowing new words.
Excerpt: "The golden streamer was withdrawing, shortening, until it looked no more than a pool far away at the rim of the world. Stillness, a vibrant quiet that affects the senses as does solemn harmony; a peace that is not contentment but a cessation of tumult when all violence of feeling tones down to the wistful serenity of regret. She turned and looked into his face, in her dark eyes a ghost of sunset sadness."
For the love month, my favorite book club picked this short story as book of the month. Published in 1925, Dead Stars is considered as the “short story that gave birth to modern Philippine writing in English.” The author, Paz Marquez Benitez, “was among the first generation of Filipinos trained in the American education system which used English as the medium of instruction.”
This particular fact can actually be gleaned in the first few pages of the 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 story evolves around Alfredo, Esperanza, and Julia, and the complications of love and feelings, old and new, that surround them. Alfredo is soon to wed his longtime fiancee, Esperanza. He meets Julia and immediately believes he has fallen in love with her. But conventions require him to restrain such unwelcome emotions and so he proceeded to marry Esperanza. For eight years, Alfredo yearned for Julia and his longlost love for her. Told in the point of view of Alfredo, Dead Stars is not a difficult read. It is straightforward and honest, and though I do not entirely agree with what Alfredo did (and did not do), I am quite familiar with the confusions surrounding love and relationships. After all, who can fully understand one’s feelings?
(view spoiler)[I am of the belief that Alfredo is suffering from cold feet — that certain feeling of indecision common among wouldbe married couples. But I do not believe that he is in love with Julia. Infatuation, yes. The momentary excitement of meeting someone new. A longing for something (or someone) he cannot have. I am a staunch believer in love strengthened and nurtured by time and that is what Alfredo and Esperanza have. Whatever feelings Julia might have stirred in him, I can not, will not, call it love.
Too much time and effort were wasted by Alfredo in thinking about Julia all these time he was married to Esperanza. And even though it might not be outright cheating, or unfaithfulness, on his part, I have every reason to believe that Esperanza knew about Julia, and for that, I feel sorry for her. And angry on Alfredo. This man just can not make up his mind! He has a lot of whatifs!
And the ending is just right. I cannot help but give a snort of laughter at Alfredo. Serves him right for pining over a woman he should not have any business dealing with in the first place. DUH. (hide spoiler)] @READ DOWNLOAD ¿ Dead Stars ó The Walking Dead Stars Regrette De N Avoir Jamais PartagThe Walking Dead Stars Regrette De N Avoir Jamais Partag De Temps D Cran By SasukE Juillet , , Les Morts Qui Marchent Est L Une Des Missions Les Plus Russies De La Tlvision, Mais Elle N A Pas Atteint Ce Statut En Effrayant Les Gens Avec Des Zombies Ou En Ayant Les Meilleures Histoires Absolues Raconter Chaque Semaine Dead Stars Bruce Wagner Babelio Dead Stars Infos CritiquesCritiques PresseCitationsForum Ajouter Mes Livres Bruce Wagner EAN Pages Diteur SonatineNote Moyenne Surnotes Rsum Vous Vous Demandez Quelle Est L Influence D Internet, De La Pornographie Et De La Culture People Sur Les Adolescents Disons Qu Ils Y Gagnent En Vivacit Ce Qu Ils YCovenant Dead Stars Musique En Streaming Coutercoutez Dead Stars Par Covenant Sur Deezer Avec La Musique En Streaming Sur Deezer, Dcouvrez Plus Demillions De Titres, Crez Gratuitement Vos Propres Playlists, Explorez Des Genres Diffrents Et Partagez Vos Titres Prfrs Avec Vos Amis Traduction Dead Stars SLOT En Franais GreatSongA Lopsided Pair Of Dead Stars Could Reveal Some Of A Lopsided Pair Of Dead Stars Could Reveal Some Of The Universe S Secrets Picture A Pair Of Collapsed Stars, Light Years Away, Locked In A Dance Of Death A Final Embrace That Will End In Their Dead Stars Analysis By Paz Marquez Benitez The Dead Stars Represent A Presence That Is Unrecognized It Speaks Of Emotions And Relationships That May Exist But Are Not Realized And Lose Their Real Meaning And Significance In The Story, The Attraction Between Alfredo And Julia Is A Forbidden And Taboo Phenomenon
"Mystery" she answered lightly, "that is so brief"
"Not in some," quickly. "Not in you."
"You have known me a few weeks; so the mystery."
"I could study you all my life and still not find it."
"I should like to."
I find it somewhat ironic that I should read this short story promptly after reading The Looking Glass because they are almost in direct opposition to each other, yet they hold similar meanings in my eyes. Of course, the writing, the storyline, the characters, and their dilemmas are vastly different, but what stood out to me once again is this theme of choices and risks and the uncertainty of outcomes involved in such.
Whereas The Looking Glass offers a dismal and pessimistic view of taking risks and how that can play out negatively in the future, Dead Stars seems to beg the question, What if? while portraying the haunting regret of not taking any chances and daringly going out on a limb. The main character, Alfredo, life becomes steeped in his remorse and curiosity, wondering if his life would have been better if only he made a different decision and followed where his heart was leading him. Eventually, it propels him to seek out and pursue those long overdue answers but he discovers that he's been holding on to illusions of What could have been? that have long faded, leaving only remnants of its expired mirage, the light of dead stars.
I didn't like Dead Stars.
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!
Why not use simple terms and austere writing so Filipinos still learning the foreign language will be able to appreciate it? Crap, I'm not into vocabulary lately but I got a mouthful of it from Dead Stars.
and don't even get me started on the wretched story. I just learned that "Dead Stars" was the first feminist text in the Philippines.
As the readers would notice, it broke the notion of patriarchal system as the society sees men as rational type or in line with logic while women are the emotional kind.
The protagonist Alfredo was very vulnerable in love. He was trapped in deciding what his heart desires. But in the end, he found himself merely infatuated (view spoiler)[ with Julia(hide spoiler)] 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...though I have to admit that some will find her style rather annoying. 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 deserves praise.
That being said, I wish I could write like Ms. Benitez but with a little less fancyschmancy synonyms. Frank Herbert, author of Dune, mastered this art. Not too many writers have the flair or the guts to come up with a piece like this. The 4star rating goes out to flamboyant writing that's obviously periodical. The story, and the telling of it, will have a challenging time keeping up with today's fastpaced, distracting (and perhaps "idealistic") demands.
*And yes, most of my reviews focus more on how the author told the story than the story itself. :)
What a douchebag.
Okay, this story did not appeal to me at all. Every word that she writes is so confusing and jumbled up, and I ended up having to reread every. single. line. This gave me a headache with all the unnecessary metaphors and descriptions. Simplicity lady, simplicity! I didn't even understand why she had to put multiple chapters!
Alfredo is a doucebag, Esperanza is a jealous quiet person who won't say ANYTHING WHATSOEVER, and Julia is gullible, and naive, and led on by Alfredo.
This was not a very likable cast.
It's funny how we can all be Alfredo, Esperanza even Julia at one point in our lives. It's really crazy, this thing we all call 'love'. It can bring us pain, hope, happiness, it can even make us dream...
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'.
Originally posted here.
The thing that struck me most about Dead Stars is that it was so exquisitely written. Florid? Perhaps. It was written by a Filipino at the turn of the century, at a period when we were adjusting to another language by way of conversations. To her credit, the author was "among the first generation of Filipinos trained in the American education system which used English as the medium of instruction."
That, and the bittersweet feeling that it left me in the end.
Of all the stories about love that I've read thus far, this is the kind that never fails to leave me with a hollow, empty feeling inside: lost loves.
Especially loves that are lost because of indecision.
Alfredo Salazar, a thirtysomething bachelor lawyer, is engaged to be married to Esperanza. Their wedding is supposedly the culmination of a very long engagement. During this period, however, he meets Julia Salas. He spends time with Julia and, quite predictably, falls in love with her.
But society practically has him married to Esperanza, and so he does nothing about his feelings for Julia. He goes with what society expects of him: he marries his fiance and consequently, parts ways with Julia.
Eight years later, in a chance encounter with Julia in her hometown, Alfredo realizes that, while he never truly forgot her, all the feelings he had for her were long gone. Vanished.
This situation reminds me of an 80's song with a line that goes:
"It isn't quite the way it was before, I remember the boy, but I don't remember the feeling anymore..."
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 lifealtering, 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.
But who's to say that he wasn't happy, eight years later? Where can it be deduced that the decision to marry Esperanza, after all, was the wrong one? After all, he did realize in the end that his feelings for Julia had all but faded, yes?(hide spoiler)]
"Dead Stars" is actually a short story written by Paz Marquez Benitez in 1925, which ushered in an era of Philippine writing in English.