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Jingzhen Xie


Using eyewitness accounts by some French writers who sojourned in Macau during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this article investigates Macanese history from French perspectives. Attention is given to history, culture, and literature within writers’ interpretations. A distinct feature of Macanese history in this period is a story of the conflict between changed and unchanged, glory and decline, temporariness and timelessness. Imbued with admiration, reminiscence, and critique, the observations made by the French writers form a unique panoramic view over Macau. Such observations illustrate how Western culture examined itself, here represented as Portuguese culture, and the manifestations of this particular culture after being transplanted into another country far from the homeland. Integration of French perspectives can enhance the writing of Macanese history by providing particular insights and literary discernment.