I find it flattering when people take my work apart and pick at the nitty-gritty, exploring facets that I had never consciously paid any attention to during those months of productive isolation. In a forum discussion over at Guys4Men, there was the question about the Zaturnnah book "depicting modernism." (I don't even know what the word means.) During the Flips Flipping Pages discussion last July 12, there was a question about environmentalism. Professor, writer and journalist Ruey de Vera once presented a semiotic reading of the Zaturnnah book to one of his classes at the Ateneo. Then there are those professors as far as Mindanao who use the book as reference in their courses.
When people do this and ask profound questions about my work, it astounds me how they would actually take the time and make the effort. I'm not complaining, for sure. I am delighted and thankful at the academic attention the book has been getting. But, at the same time, there's also that fear--akin to being disrobed one thread at a time.
In the past, I admit that I've attempted to over-intellectualize my work during interviews when, the fact is, over 50% of what I've said during interviews haven't been planned or premeditated. Not that they were false, but they were simply the truths I believed to be sincere at the time. Because, bottom line, I just wanted to tell a story. Whatever approach of literary or visual critique was employed would be, in my mind, the various exciting ways of looking at the material.
Like this one, presented by one fine chap named David Corpuz at the 8th ASEAN Inter-university Conference held in Manila last May. The title of his paper was "Subverting Zsazsa Zaturnnah: A Critique of the Original Graphic Novel and Stage and Film Adaptations of Ang Kagila-Gilalas Na Pakikipagsapalaran Ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah," and David announced in his Multiply blog that the paper has been accepted in conferences in Davao, Canada and Romania. If you'd like to know how he takes the Zaturnnah through an academic queer reading, do read the abridged version of his paper.