'In Macao': Charles A. Gunnison's Gothic Tale


Charles A. Gunnison’s short story ‘In Macao. A Story from the Grasshopper’s Library’ (1892)has been viewed as a realistic and naturalistic representation of late nineteenth century Macao. Not much is known about Gunnison, but my research has revealed that he could not have been much more than a brief visitor to Macao. I question, therefore, the Realist and Naturalist portrayal of Macao in the story, and re-view the tale in the context of the Gothic genre, in order to explain some of the non-realistic features of the story. This reading has broader implications for the interpretation of supposedly realist fictional depictions of Macao and could be particularly useful for high school or tertiary level students of Sino-Western cultural studies.


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