The Noli Me Tangere by Jose P. Rizal, national hero of the Philippines, is the novel with the greatest impact on Filipino political thinking in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the widest influence on contemporary fiction, drama, opera, dance and film. Its popularity was rooted in its reflection of the times in which it was written, and has continued because of the characters Rizal created, set in situation that still ring true today.
Rizal finished the Noli in 1887, and published 2,000 copies in Berlin. Many thousands more have since circulated in the original Spanish, and in translations into German, French, Chinese, English, Filipino, and other Philippine languages. The best known translations in English are those by Charles Derbyshire (1912) and Leon Ma. Guerrero (1961).
In this new translation, Soledad Lacson-Locsin, a bilingual writer, has restored the unpublished chapter about Elias and Salome, as well as the whole of the “Canto de Maria Clara,” wishing her translation to be a faithful rendition of the original.