Keywords:Tropical Gothic, Apocalypse, Philippines, literature, translation
Alvin Yapan’s “Apocalypse” (Filipino: “Apokalipsis”) renders the end of the world as the simultaneous transgression of presupposed boundaries between the individual and collective, the human and non-human, and the rational and irrational. By locating the narrative in an unnamed corner of the Philippine metropolis that is altogether too familiar in the present, and through interweaving the folkloric and popular, the text proposes a timely urban legend that articulates anxieties of a particular tropical consciousness grappling with modernism. The tale is a counternarrative that acknowledges contemporary overlaps – in the same vein as articulated by Senf (2014, p.31) who values the Gothic as “a counterbalance produced by writers and thinkers who felt limited by such a confident worldview and recognized that the power of the past, the irrational, and the violent continue to hold sway in the world.” The present text becomes a rehearsal of the story’s proposed apocalypse through the transgression offered by the act of translation which opens this particular tropical articulation to a wider field of discourse on the modern.
Ocampo, V. F. R. (2014, May 5). A Short and Incomplete History of Philippine Science Fiction [web log comment]. Retrieved from https://vrocampo.com/2014/05/05/a-short-and-incomplete-history-of-philippine-science-fiction/
Senf, C. (2014). Why We Need the Gothic in a Technological World. In R. Utz, V. B. Johnson, & T. Denton (Eds.), Humanistic Perspectives in a Technological World (pp.31-32). Atlanta: School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology.
Tan, M. L. (2004). Fetal Discourses and the Politics of the Womb. Reproductive Health Matters, 12(24 Supplement), 157-166
Yapan, A. B. (2016). Sangkatauhan at Sangkahayupan. Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
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