Saturday, October 19, 2019

Of Ferals And Fetishes

WHILE I'M ON THE SUBJECT of American imperial Gothic (and not-so-Gothic) fiction about the Philippines, I am posting several more stories that I have come upon in this foray. The first is "Mivins" (1902), the only short story on this subject as far as I know that is not available on public domain, by our mysterious writer Sargent Kayme which appeared in Metropolitan Magazine, a copy of which I found on Biblio. Here the barong reminds us of the awesome blade that hacked the head off a carabao at one blow in Apocalypse Now. The second is by another little-known writer Charles E. Meyers: "The Anting-Anting of Maga" (1895) in Overland Monthly, which has shades of Robert Louis Stevenson and W.W. Jacobs. Then the three Laguna hag tales (1902-1903) by African-American U.S. Volunteer Army captain Frank R. Steward (whose narrator doesn't identify himself as such) in Colored American Magazine, and are the subject of University of Texas scholar Gretchen Murphy's angle of reading. What I consider the most sympathetic of the group are the poignant last two stories, also from Overland Monthly: Pierre N. Beringer's "Joseppa, Sweetest of Tagalog Children" (1900) and William O'Connell McGeehans's "The Spirit of the Philippines" (1902).

Mangyan amulets (Masaru Miyamoto)

Capt. Frank R. Steward

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