Brutality in the Fiction of Estrella D. Alfon
Department of Literature and Modern Languages
The Dalhousie Review
Estrella D. Alfon is one of the most undervalued writers in the history of Philippine literature in English. Although three of her stories were selected by Leopoldo Yabes and Carlos Bulosan as being among the fifteen best in the period 1925-19401 , Yabes grouped Alfon with authors "who have no vision or not enough of it to avoid being merely a craftsman" (Manliclic 97). Although "she was considered the best Filipino writer in pre-war days" (Manliclic 114), critics identified flaws in her fiction. Manuel A. Viray, for instance, surely the ranking authority at the time2 , cited "a tendency to sprawl by including irrelevant details and she seldom rewrites or revises her work" (Manliclic 114). Her achievements were almost immediately recognized: "She was 'discovered' by Alfredo Elfren Litiatco, literary editor of the Graphic which published her first story, 'Gray Confetti,' in 1935" and "her collection of short stories won a prize in the first Commonwealth Literary Contests in 1940" (Manliclic 114). Yet so justly respected a critic as N. V. M. Gonzalez detected a downturn in quality in her later work (Manliclic 115).
Grow, L. M. (1990). Brutality in the Fiction of Estrella D. Alfon. The Dalhousie Review, 70 (2) Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/shss_facarticles/137