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A Companion to Portuguese Literature

A Companion to Portuguese Literature

Stephen Parkinson
Cláudia Pazos Alonso
T. F. Earle
Series: Monografías A
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 238
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  • Book Info
    A Companion to Portuguese Literature
    Book Description:

    This companion volume offers an introduction to European Portuguese literature for university-level readers. It consists of a chronological overview of Portuguese literature from the twelfth century to the present day, by some of the most distinguished literary scholars of recent years, leading into substantial essays centred on major authors, genres or periods, and a study of the history of translations. It does not attempt an encyclopaedic coverage of Portuguese literature, but provides essential chronological and bibliographical information on all major authors and genres, with more extensive treatment of key works and literary figures, and a particular focus on the modern period. It is unashamedly canonical rather than thematic in its examination of central authors and periods, without neglecting female writers. In this way it provides basic reference materials for students beginning the study of Portuguese literature, and for a wider audience looking for general or specific information. The editors have made a principled decision to exclude both Brazilian and African literature, which demand separate treatment. STEPHEN PARKINSON, CLAUDIA PAZOS ALONSO and T. F. EARLE are all members of the Sub-Faculty of Portuguese at the University of Oxford. CONTRIBUTORS: Vanda Anastácio, Helena Carvalhao Buescu, Rip Cohen, T. F. Earle, David Frier, Luís Gomes, Mariana Gray de Castro, Helder Macedo, Patricia Odber de Baubeta, Hilary Owen, Stephen Parkinson, Cláudia Pazos Alonso, Juliet Perkins, Teresa Pinto Coelho, Phillip Rothwell, Mark Sabine, Claire Williams, Clive Willis.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-708-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-vii)
    (pp. viii-x)
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    Stephen Parkinson, Cláudia Pazos Alonso and T. F. Earle

    ThisCompanion to Portuguese Literatureis the first in English. It is intended as a companion in a literal sense – a guide, friendly and accessible, but we hope authoritative, for readers to take with them on one of the most interesting but least known literary adventures that Western Europe can offer. The book has been written for readers who, for whatever reason, are new to portuguese literature, who would like to have some idea of the terrain in advance, but who do not expect an answer to every question. So each chapter provides an outline of the work of a...

  6. 1 Eight Centuries of Portuguese Literature: An Overview
    (pp. 1-24)

    Portugal was a by-product of the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian peninsula. In the 11th century, Henry, a younger son of the Duke of Burgundy, joined the campaign of King Alfonso VI of León and Castile in the fight against the Moors. As a reward, he was married to the king’s illegitimate daughter, Teresa, and was given as a dowry a territory then integrated into Galicia, becoming Count of portugal in 1093. Henry’s son Afonso Henriques (1109–85) conducted a series of brilliant campaigns both against the royal power of León-Castile and against the Moors. In 1139 he was proclaimed...

  7. 2 The Medieval Galician-Portuguese Lyric
    (pp. 25-44)

    The medieval Galician-portuguese lyric (not counting theCantigas de Santa Maria) is a corpus of around 1,680 texts, composed by some one hundred and sixty poets, and traditionally divided into three genres,cantigas de amigo(female-voiced lyric),cantigas de amor(male-voiced lyric) andcantigas de escarnho e de mal dizer(poetry of mockery and insult), hereinafterAmigo, Amor,andCEM.¹ This division, which could have been induced from the poetry itself, is based on evidence from the manuscript tradition, from the fragmentary and untitledArte de Trovar(as it is often called by modern scholars), and from references in the...

  8. 3 Fernão Lopes and Portuguese Prose Writing of the Middle Ages
    (pp. 45-55)

    Medieval portuguese prose writing is dominated by a small number of genres: historical writing, sapiential and memorialistic writing, hagiography and devotional tracts, and romances of chivalry, the latter two firmly rooted in imported and translated materials. Historical writing has a long Iberian lineage, with native Iberian historians such as Lucas of Tuy (Chronicon Mundi, 1232) pre-dating the emergence of portuguese historiography. The historical compilations of Alfonso X of Castile, notably theGeneral Estoriawhich pedro, Count of Barcelos, reworked as the 1344Cronica Geral de Espanha (General History of Spain), beside his ownLivro de Linhagens (Book of Lineages), fed...

  9. 4 Portuguese Theatre in the Sixteenth Century: Gil Vicente and António Ferreira
    (pp. 56-71)

    On the night of 7 June 1502, the royal apartments were invaded by a rumbustious figure, a herdsman sent on behalf of his village to find out whether it was true that the Queen of portugal, Maria of Castile, had given birth. Indignant but not cowed by the strong-arm tactics of palace servants to stop him entering into the Queen’s presence, amazed but not speechless at the luxurious surroundings, he addresses the young mother, jumping with joy at her safe delivery and radiant pride. He showers warm praise on the baby heir to the throne and his lineage before ushering...

  10. 5 The Lusiads and the Literature of Portuguese Overseas Expansion
    (pp. 72-84)

    The new age of the Renaissance was characterised by three important factors: the systematisation of existing Western learning and aesthetics, the emergence of a canon of literary doctrine and the growing recognition of Europe’s coming role in a wider world. Linked to these was the demand, which in the sixteenth century grew to a noisy clamour, that the great realities of man’s achievements should be immortalised in verse. It is within this vast context that we shall examine the contribution of Luís Vaz de Camões (1524–80) inOs Lusíadas (The Lusiads, i.e., the portuguese). This late-Renaissance or Mannerist epic...

  11. 6 Lyric Poetry in the Sixteenth Century
    (pp. 85-96)
    T. F. EARLE

    The sixteenth century is especially rich in poetry of high quality. This was a time when poets were open to a great variety of influences, in several languages, which must have stimulated their ambition. It was also the time when the maritime empire in Africa and Asia reached its peak, and great events have a tendency to inspire great minds.

    These were years when portuguese literary culture was open to the world, but still very much in touch with its popular and medieval roots. A classic example of the presence of the past in the Renaissance period, given in all...

  12. 7 The Seventeenth Century
    (pp. 97-102)

    In the seventeenth century, portugal no longer had a place at the forefront of Modern Europe, but lagged behind emerging powers like France, England and the Low Countries. To better understand this situation, and its implications for portuguese literature, it is necessary to trace its antecedents.

    In portugal, the seventeenth century was dominated by the Iberian Dual Monarchy and its aftermath. For sixty years, from 1580 to 1640, portugal and Spain shared the same sovereign. This period was not too dissimilar from the ‘Union of the Crowns’ in Britain, which took place when James VI of Scotland inherited the English...

  13. 8 The Eighteenth Century
    (pp. 103-108)

    In the eighteenth century the portuguese cultural field included colonies in India, Africa and Brazil. Before 1700 the country had lost a significant part of its Indian possessions, but Brazil’s weight in the economy had increased since the late 1690s, when large amounts of gold and diamonds were found. Between 1700 and 1800 portugal had four different sovereigns: João V, José, Maria I and João VI. Though each of these rulers adopted a personal style of government, the country was an absolute monarchy throughout the period. Until 1759, primary and secondary education was administrated by the Jesuits, who taught the...

  14. 9 Almeida Garrett: Founder of Modern Portuguese Literature
    (pp. 109-119)

    João Baptista da Silva Leitão de Almeida Garrett (1799–1854) is one of the undisputed founders of portuguese Romanticism and one of the earliest portuguese writers to have a typically modern concept of the intellectual and of his political and civic role. His thorough classical training, under the guidance of his uncle, is visible in much of his work which, as a whole, contains clear evidence of the possibilities for frequently successful cross-over and even reconciliation of the classical and Romantic poles.

    In 1816 he matriculated at Coimbra University, and immediately revealed those two aspects of his activities which would...

  15. 10 The Transition from Romanticism to Realism: Alexandre Herculano, Camilo Castelo Branco and Júlio Dinis
    (pp. 120-130)

    Although the rise of extensive prose fiction in portugal lies long before the nineteenth century (with precedents such as Bernardim Ribeiro’sMenina e Moçaand Fernão Mendes pinto’sPeregrinação), it is in the nineteenth century that the novel becomes an established literary genre in portugal, largely (as elsewhere in Europe) due not only to the growth of a leisured and literate middle class with the time and the disposable income to hand for this pursuit, but also to the increasing capacity of publishers to cater to a mass market. At the same time, however, it is this very fluid social...

  16. 11 Eça de Queirós: A European Writer
    (pp. 131-143)

    José Maria Eça de Queirós (1845–1900) was among the most cosmopolitan men of his time. He went on the Eastern Grand Tour, taking in Egypt, where he witnessed the opening of the Suez Canal (1869), and the Holy Land (like Disraeli, Nerval and Gautier). In 1873 he travelled to the USA (philadelphia, New York and Chicago) and Canada. His professional life as consul first took him to La Habana (1872–74), then Newcastle (1874–78) and Bristol (1878–88). His last post was paris, where he died in 1900.

    Having lived abroad, mostly in England and France, for most...

  17. 12 Fernando Pessoa and the Modernist Generation
    (pp. 144-156)

    When the American critic Harold Bloom included ‘the amazing portuguese poet, Fernando pessoa’ among his selection of the most significant writers inThe Western Canon(1994),Time Magazinewas wrong to consider this an example of Bloom’s pandering to ‘the obligatory academic obscurity’.

    pessoa is the inescapable giant of modern portuguese letters: through his unique feature of writing different character–poets, who author separate bodies of work with distinctive styles and themes, as well as his involvement in the literary circles of the day, he almost single-handedly brought Modernism to portugal. While some may deplore the way in which his...

  18. 13 Narrative and Drama during the Dictatorship
    (pp. 157-167)

    The climate of fear the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar fostered at various times during its long reign and its subtle and not-so-subtle censorship techniques had a profound impact on the cultural production of Portugal. Mediocre writers and playwrights were celebrated by the regime, through prizes and official approval. Yet, unlike under other authoritarian regimes, a significant amount of work that critiqued the premises and effects of Salazarism emerged within Portugal. The regime tended to use intimidation more than outright censorship, although some writers, such as José Cardoso Pires, did fall foul of the censor’s blue pencil. However, Salazar...

  19. 14 Women Writers up to 1974
    (pp. 168-181)

    In 1858, with his usual sharp wit, Camilo Castelo Branco remarked that ‘Over the course of the last fifty years ladies had not been reading novels, the reason for which took me many a sleepless night to figure out: they did not know how to read.’¹ With this statement, he was succinctly expressing his dismay at the negative effect of women’s lack of educational opportunities, but equally how puzzling he found this situation at a time when change was already, slowly but surely, under way.

    Indeed, the visible rise of, not only the woman reader, but also the ‘woman of...

  20. 15 Writing after the Dictatorship
    (pp. 182-201)

    No matter how often Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen’s salutation to 25 April 1974 is quoted, it avoids the status of cliché through its succinct encapsulation of so much of the ethos of the ‘Carnation Revolution’. Into four lines are concentrated not simply the euphoria and optimism inspired by the almost bloodless fall of theEstado Novo, and the belief in a fresh beginning, but also, and more significantly, the liberty to partake of a new and more dynamic relationship with time and history. After having their eyes, ears and mouths confounded by the night and silence of tyranny, and...

  21. 16 Portuguese Literature in English Translation
    (pp. 202-214)

    Relatively few histories of portuguese literature have been written in English, perhaps because the subject is unlikely to attract sufficient readers to justify such an undertaking and there is a general assumption that anyone with an interest in this subject will have, at the very least, a reading knowledge of portuguese. This rationale inevitably excludes readers with an interest in comparative literature who do not possess the required linguistic knowledge. Histories of the translation of portuguese literature into English are even scarcer: the potential readership is extremely small, and the information required to produce such a history is difficult to...

  22. INDEX
    (pp. 215-222)
  23. Back Matter
    (pp. 223-223)