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New Left Review 29, September-October 2004

Political education in the dungeons of Barcelona, and the converging tracks of Filipino and Cuban revolutionaries as the 400-year-old Spanish empire enters its final throes. Benedict Anderson concludes his exploration of the late 19th-century world setting of José Rizal’s explosive anti-colonial novels.



José Rizal: Paris, Havana, Barcelona, Berlin—3

Parts i and ii of this triptych (nlr 27 and 28) explored the complex transnational contexts, literary and political, that shaped the incendiary anticolonial novels (Noli Me Tangere, 1887, and El Filibusterismo, 1891) of the Philippines’ ‘founding father’ José Rizal. Part iii considers how developments in Cuba, Europe, and the Far East framed his final years—and how, after Rizal’s execution, his nationalist contemporary Isabelo de los Reyes smuggled back to the American-colonized Philippines what he had learned from anarchist cellmates in the dungeons of Barcelona. [1] See ‘Nitroglycerine in the Pomegranate’, nlr 27, May–June 2004, and ‘In the World-Shadow of Bismarck and Nobel’, nlr 28, July–August 2004. The three essays form part of a larger book on the subject, to be published by Verso next year. I would like to express my gratitude to Neil Garcia, Carol Hau, Fouad Makki, and above all Ambeth Ocampo for their help with information, criticism, and bibliographical references. Errors in what follows are entirely my own responsibility.

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Benedict Anderson, ‘Jupiter Hill’, NLR 29: £3

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