Today is Rizal Day.

The man was a voracious reader. In his essay, “What did Jose Rizal Read?” (1988) Ambeth R. Ocampo writes:

Rizal owned a valuable collection of over 2,000 books…

[He] read a lot of French literature: Honore de Balzac, Alexandre Dumas pêre Three Musketeers and Count of Monte Cristo; the complete works of Pierre Jean de Beranger, Moliere [Jean Baptiste Poquelin], Charles de Secondat Montesquieu and Emile Zola. He read Alfred de Musset’s poems and Napoleon’s Memoirs Written from Sainte Helene. Most of his books were in Spanish translation, although he did read English, French, and German too.

Rizal also read Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield, and Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, five of which he even translated into Tagalog for his nephew and nieces. He read The Barber of Seville and the Marriage of Figaro by Beaumarchais, so it is highly probable that after reading these, he went to see Mozart’s operas (or vice versa).

Rizal read books on the Philippines: Azcarraga y Pamero’s La libertad de comercio en las Islas Filipinas; Blumentritt’s Breve diccionario etnografico de Filipinas; Meyer’s Album von Philippinen Typen; and Montero y Vidal’s El Archipelago Filipino y Las Islas Marianas, Carolinas y Palaos, among many others.

Being an artist, Rizal also owned a lot of picture books. He owned dictionaries and three different versions of the Bible-one in Spanish, one Catholic edition, and another translated from the Latin Vulgate.

A post by Kubi, who shall now make some tea.

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