Nick Joaquin’s Cándido’s Apocalypse: Re-imagining the Gothic in a Postcolonial Philippines
Arong, Marie Rose B.
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In this context, this paper explores the idea of the Gothic in Joaquin’s writing and how it relates to Joaquin being the “most original voice in postcolonial Philippine writing.” In 1972, the University of Queensland Press featured Joaquin’s works in its Asian and Pacific writing series. This “new” collection, Tropical Gothic (1972), contained his significant early works published in Prose and Poems (1952) plus his novellas. This collection’s title highlights a specific aspect of Joaquin’s writing, that of his propensity to use Gothic tropes such as the blending of the real and the fantastic, or the tragic and the comic, as shown in most of the stories in the collection. In particular, I examine how his novella (Cándido’s Apocalypse) interrogates the neurosis of the nation—a disconnection from the past and its repercussions on the present/future of the Philippines.