This ideological critique reads Vicente Groyon’s The Sky Over Dimas in its appropriation of historiographic metafiction. The paper argues that its two borrowed modes, historiography and metafiction, function as a symbolic act following Fredric Jameson’s Marxist interpretive ground of the political. In The Sky Over Dimas, historiographic metafiction is a symbolic act that articulates the political unconscious/fantasy of the landed elite while repressing their role in the perpetuation of the feudal system of sugar in Negros. This provisionalizing or bracketing of history in the novel, unlike other historiographic metafictional texts like Great Philippine Jungle Energy Café, State of War and Empire of Memory, does not foreground any “alternative histories” of the marginal or the ex-centric. Instead, the novel withholds narrative (and historical) truth, reduces most of its narrative circumstances to gossip and speculation to humanize its protagonists—the hacendero class in Negros. It is this displacement or deviation from the emergent form of historiographic metafiction, its generic series, which engenders a diachronic differential reading that allows the novel to be construed as a symbolic act—an ideological reply or imagined solution to an actual social dilemma.


historical novel, historiographic metafiction, Negros, political unconscious, postmodernism

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

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Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
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Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
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Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
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University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
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University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
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Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
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Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
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Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)