Touch Me Not
Touch Me Not (1887) is a novel by José Rizal. Published in Berlin, the novel was originally conceived as a collaborative project to be written by a group of Filipino nationalist writers living in Madrid. Disappointed in his comrades' lack of engagement, however, Rizal wrote the novel alone, blending aspects of his own life story with his critique of Spanish imperialism in the Philippines. Banned by Spanish authorities, the novel was smuggled into his home country, where it quickly galvanized Rizal's fellow nationalists in opposition to the Spanish Empire. Returning home to Laguna province after seven years in Europe, Crisóstomo Ibarra, a young mestizo man, attempts to pick up the pieces following the death of his father. Noticing some hostility from Padre Dámaso, a local curate who had long been a friend of his family, Crisóstomo soon learns that his father's death may not have been an accident after all. Focusing on his goal of building a school for the local children, Crisóstomo longs to do justice to Don Rafael Ibarra's legacy. When he goes to visit his grave, however, he is told by the groundskeeper that his father's body was moved to a local Chinese burial ground following an order by Padre Dámaso. As the story unfolds, a vast web of conspiracy involving Spanish authorities and Filipino revolutionaries threatens Crisóstomo's life while testing the limits of his loyalty to family and nation alike. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of José Rizal's Touch Me Not is a classic work of Filipino literature reimagined for modern readers.
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