© 2013 by Jensen DG. Mañebog
COMPRISING 63 CHAPTERS and an epilogue, Jose Rizal’s first novel ‘Noli Me Tangere’ exposes the abuses and inequities of many Spanish Catholic friars and government officials during his time.
Rizal was a student of medicine in the Universidad Central de Madrid when he started writing it and was 26 years old at its publication.
The author fittingly dedicated the novel to the country of his people whose miseries and sorrows he brought to light in an attempt to awaken them to the truths concerning the ills of their society. Paradoxically though, the novel was originally written in Spanish, the language of the colonizers and the educated at that time.
Published in early 1887 in Europe, the novel is now commonly called by its shortened name ‘Noli’; its English translation is usually titled ‘Touch Me not’ and ‘The Social Cancer’. The Latin title which means ‘Touch me not’ was taken from Christ’s words. In a letter to Felix Hidalgo, Rizal however made a mistake in attributing the quotation to the Gospel of Luke, for it was in fact recorded in John 20:17: “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.”