This paper is a critical study of Bienvenido N. Santos’ novel, “The Man Who
[Thought He] Looked Like Robert Taylor,” probing into the witting self-re/formation
and re/construction of the subject as a necessary attempt in reterritorializing/
negotiating his position in an unreceptive space of the ‘dominant.’ In exploring the
aforesaid idea, it is argued that the protagonist’s (Solomon King) insistence and
thought of resemblance with the Hollywood icon, Robert Taylor, is never an innocent
assumption on his part but a conscious falsification and misrecognition of the self,
instigated by his afflictive experiences as othered/alienated ethnic and Filipino old
timer/manong in the idealized, yet in reality, illusive and hostile American land.
Furthermore, this paper discusses the subject’s other ‘performances,’ and their ironic
implications--all the accumulated pretences, faking and mimicking of the way of
living, the culture, and the language of the colonizer-- corroborating conjunctively
with his ‘performance’ as Taylor’s double. These performances and self-reconstruction
are thus conceived as engendered by/against/for the subject’s tormenting condition
and frustration to belong.