Saturday, October 22, 2016

Anthology of Epochs

We know that we can inherit a nose from a grandfather, or asthma from a grandmother, or left-handedness from a parent; but dos our having the nose, or the asthma, or the left-handedness or all three together, mean that we are not ourself a new person but only still our grandfather, grandmother, or parent? One might as well say that the persisting use of the term horsepower proves that the machine age is still in a horse culture!...Shouldn't we rather recognize that each person is a sort of unconscious anthology of all the epochs of man; and that he may at times be moving simultaneously among different epochs? A Filipino, for example, who knows Tagalog, Spanish and English will, with Tagalog, be mentally moving in the world of oral tradition; with Spanish, in a visual culture; and with English, in the electronic era....

Nick Joaquin, Culture and History, Anvil (Mandaluyong City, Philippines: 2004), pp. 50-51.

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