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Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins. Santos, Boaventura de Sousa. Pela Mao de Alice. O Social e Politico na Pos-Modernidade. Porto: Afrontamento, Sapega, Ellen. Helena Kaufman and Anna Klobucka. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, Saramago, Jose. A Jangada de Pedra. A Caverna. Subcomandante Marcos. Our Word Is Our Weapon. Selected Writings. Juana Ponce de Leon. New York: Seven Stories Press, The prize had been so long in coming, the seventy-six year old Portuguese writer indicated at the time, that he had long since given up hope that the award would be his.
He was well aware, moreover, that the Nobel was an even longer time in coming for his country and for all the Portuguese-language writers throughout the world who had preceded him over the long years. Yet, for Jose Saramago, the Prize had come only sixteen years after he achieved his first success with the novel known in English as Baltasar and Blimunda and less than a quarter of a century since he resumed the writing of fiction.
He had abandoned it after a first novel, the modest success of which landed him a job in journalism. Since the overthrow of the Salazar-Caetano dictatorship on the 25th of April in , he has produced fiction, novels and short stories, plays and poetry, most of which have been translated into most of the major languages of the world. Until recently, he has been served especially well by his English- language translator, the late Giovanni Pontiero. What if Saint Joseph was wracked by guilt for not having warned his neighbors that the innocents were to be killed?
What if the entire Iberian peninsula were to break off from the rest of Europe, much as a northern or southern hemisphere iceberg might, becoming a huge clod floating freely in the Atlantic, with a population that carries with it its culture, history, and social truths? It is the achieved phenomenon of his prose that his characters always strike us as being in motion an achievement that owes nothing to easy psychologizing or the surrender to the sirens of paradigmatic rationalizing , an accomplishment that accounts for the strong flow of narrative that carries one along with it.
In The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, for example, he reimagines as a narrative the life of the historical Jesus, not as the Son of God, but as a human being. He follows closely the outline of the story everyone knows, but inferentially working out the details of the dust and dirt of his everyday life. He searches in what must have been the human dimension of the life of Joseph the father, with its oppressive sense of moral responsibilities fulfilled or evaded. Everyone knows what happened mythically and emblematically, but he reverses the usual process of the magic realist by humanizing — that is, by making ordinary — that still, and now somehow, enhanced extraordinary life.
In Blindness Jose Saramago turns everyday actuality into an extraordinary reality in which a breakout of a batch of sudden, unexplainable, mysterious blindness triggers widespread fear and terror, leading immediately to the exercise of the institutional power to coerce, segregate, round-up, intern, and punish. Here he allegorizes the sins of the victims of the Holocaust, reimagining thereby all holocausts — including those, still unimagined, that yet await us.
Jose Saramago is a moralist, a rather broadly political moralist, to be exact. But this longtime champion of the people, champion of the cultural and spiritual values of nations, chooses to show more than he will tell, inspiring his readers to trust the truth of the tale while efficiently deflecting all focus away from its inspired teller.
It is with humility and pride that one can welcome to the University of Massachusetts, this honored but also honoring place, Jose Saramago, this native of Portugal, this honorable and honest citizen of the realm we know as humankind. Address at the Honoris Causa Ceremony, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Jose Saramago Translated by Robert Moser Honorable Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Illustrious Professors Esteemed Students Ladies and Gentlemen My Friends In recent months I have had, frequently, the privilege of rising to similar university podiums, on more or less solemn occasions, to express my gratitude and to expound upon some broad ideas related to both my activity as a writer as well as my concerns as a citizen.
Presumably these invitations stem from personal merits which, I fear, do not always rise to the distinctions awarded them. Nevertheless, like any other human being entitled to my modicum of vanity, I will not venture to question your judgement, even though I am predisposed, either by virtue of a natural tendency or perhaps an acquired one, to render coolly those merits all relative, to view them as contingent, variable, accidental, the mere fruit of whimsical tastes, and, therefore, dependent on the conditions of time and place.
From this moment on, thanks to what is perhaps best understood as a particularly generous show of charity in your academic evaluation of me, I am similarly honored by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. My reference to those countries and universities, which have previously opened their doors to me, was by no means gratuitous, nor did it stem from some irresistible temptation for self-indulgence.
If I have allowed myself the liberty to ponder such a wide trajectory, indeed one that covers almost half the planet, it is only to underscore the importance, and reflect upon, with as much rigor as I can muster, the relevance of my stepping before you today in Dartmouth. It is not due, as some of you, who are able to recall the list of my academic distinctions, might imagine, to the fact that this is the first time that an honorary doctorate has been bestowed upon me by a North American university.
Presumably this would serve as a sufficient and justifiable motive for the emotion that envelops me now, and yet I recognize that the roots of my sentiment go much deeper. I stand as witness as they break down the walls that surround us, and extend beyond the limits of the university campus, to finally unite with those people who, although I have not met them, are fully recognizable to me if you will pardon this apparent contradiction.
Their roots, both close and distant, from abroad and from here, pulled less by their sense of adventure and more by their response to necessity, thousands of Portuguese immigrants at one point in time came to this State, in many cases for two or three generations, to live and to work. Theirs is an unremitting human chain and, as such, has always been and will continue to be an example of living history, one that inevitably carries within itself the recollection of a distinct past and the memory of a distant country, of a continent, an island.
A place invoked by desire, at times pain, but always nostalgia, even when it seemed to us forgotten, sometimes forgotten, sometimes remembered, remembered and forgotten, forgotten, remembered. I would like to be seen as someone who in time developed into a writer, one who, in turn, with the help of both the knowledge and the will he had acquired, ended up by returning to the earth itself the handful of kernels that he had collected from life, with the idea that the renewal of the harvest can take place only through the rejuvenation of different generations and their experiences, as well as the lively clash between the works of yesterday and the works of today.
It is from the same tree that dropped its leaves that the new buds grow. Presumably for reasons of political convenience, excessive optimism or, perhaps, a propensity for round figures, it has been said countless times that there are two hundred million speakers of Portuguese on this planet. That day will come when the African nations with Portuguese as their official language are able to free themselves once and for all from the ravages of war and the equally devastating misfortune of economic and cultural underdevelopment, and assume, at least according to the usual rhetoric, their own destinies.
It is not by chance that I invoke here that part of Africa that decided to adopt Portuguese as their basis, as an instrumental link in national unity, and as a privileged medium for literary and artistic expression. Following the historical precedent of an independent Brazil, and free from their colonial yoke after sustained fighting, immeasurable human sacrifice and devastating structural wreckage, these countries repaid the injury we inflicted upon them, with their offering to choose forever Portuguese as their language.
And I truly believe it will be forever. Surrounded, constrained, and one might even say oppressed economically and culturally by an extensive chain of countries who use English as their official language, Lusophone Africa has elected to continue living with the minority language of yesteryear, and in so doing has entrusted it to their teachers, their writers, their people, as the key to unlock the door to the world. By choosing this route they were unaware, in all likelihood, that the Portuguese would also ultimately benefit from their decision.
Even as the courageous and martyred people of East Timor have done, albeit for different reasons, when they have articulated their grievances on international television in fluent and correct Portuguese, much to the surprise, probably, of many people.
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Allow me then to pose a loaded question: Would we be happier, would we communicate any better or look forward to a brighter future if we had chosen to speak and write in a language that was more widespread, predominant, and universal? There are undoubtedly reasons why someone would answer yes to this question, and yet this is not the position defended by the Angolan and Mozambican writers who just a few weeks ago, in Luanda and Maputo, called my attention to something that I had never considered.
They explained to me, in all seriousness, that if, for example, they had written in English, they would find themselves now submersed in an immense ocean of Anglophone authors from around the world; whereas, writing in Portuguese, they at least enjoy the advantages afforded them by the difference they represent. They are therefore others , who can benefit from the curiosity that seeks out that which is qualitatively distinct. As this example clearly demonstrates, there are not merely disadvantages to speaking and writing in the language of the minority We may be compelled, then, to speak and write in different languages spread across this vast world, either out of a unilateral necessity for communication or when the simple pleasure to extend our knowledge possesses us.
And yet, we must always be prepared to defend, through its practice and study, the common tree of the Portuguese language with its diverse national expressions, a tree whose branches spread out over the Earth, casting a shadow that we recognize as no less than the projection of our mutual heritage. There are those who contend that languages have no need for a savior, that a language is an extremely adaptable, living organism and that this capacity for continuous adaptation is the very stuff of life.
All of this is indeed true. In this day and age, however, a language that does not defend itself will die. It suffers not a sudden death, but rather one of gradual disintegration through consumption that may take centuries to complete, thus creating the illusion of a language that is long-lived, and which, in turn, cultivates the indolence and masks the complicity, consciously or subconsciously, of its suicidal speakers. Clearly we would have our language avoid this fate.
Fortunately, we are at this moment at a university in which Portuguese Studies have prospered and where our hope for its future development will undoubtedly solidify its achievements. It is my ardent desire, as a writer and a Portuguese, that your endeavors be fully realized. I am confident that I share this sentiment with the Portuguese immigrants in the State of Massachusetts, whom I cordially address as well. To conclude, Honorable Chancellor, I would like to express my gratitude to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for bestowing upon me the honor of including me among its own.
I shall strive always to be worthy of this honor and to live up to the thoughtfulness with which you welcomed me to your house, a place that, henceforward, I shall also consider my own. Thank you very much. Viegas, her doctor and confidant, I wish I did not feel ashamed at this moment, but I do I need something that would give me certainty of my wretchedness. Look, doctor, I am asking you, go to the office and bring I want to feel that, fundamentally, this means nothing, as long as I maintain the calm necessary to continue thinking about the overwhelming greatness of the Universe.
I want to feel small, identical to the irrational female who betrays her mate for the first time just after his death. Terra do Pecado features, in sum, a society less marked by the habits of the twentieth century than by the mores of a world whose time still obeyed the rhythms of village bells.
If in critical terms little is gained by asserting that Maria Leonor, Benedita and Dr. It was, therefore, not from his foreign and domestic contemporaries that the young Saramago drew inspiration for his first characters. If exhibited in a gallery of characters, the hysterical Maria Leonor, the paternal Dr. Lopes Matoso. We will later return to the consideration of this distance between Saramago and the trends and dominant literary discourses at the time his first book was published. In fact, we can see how — through the employment of an evolutionary perspective in order to compare the construction of fictional characters from Terra do Pecado to Manual of Painting and Calligraphy , to the short stories of Objecto Quase.
Almost an Object , , to Levantado do Chao Raised from the Ground, and to Baltasar and Blimunda , as is the purpose of this essay — dating from his original asynchronism, Saramago gradually charted his own course, arriving eventually at the center of the most advanced literary production in the world of Lusophone writing today.
Following Terra do Pecado, nineteen years would pass before Saramago published a new book. Twenty-nine years would pass before he conceived of a significant cast of characters driven by an extensive fictional plot. Nevertheless, it is also important to note, particularly in some cronicas, traces of a revival of the creative impulse. Meanwhile, however, in order to underscore an important point, let us dwell a bit on these two texts. In both texts, the writer privileges collective processes: in the first, it is the insurrection of a terrorized population and the consequent expulsion of the invaders from the liberated city.
In Manual of Painting and Calligraphy , Saramago constructs complete fictional characters, if not for the first time, given the antecedence of Terra do Pecado , then at least in the sense that their conception reveals an identifiable margin of authorial conscience, this time attuned to contemporary fiction writing.
Unlike Terra do Pecado , this second novel remains open to the Portuguese and European literary horizons. Certain of his limitations and of his somewhat pathetic role as the painter of portraits in the gallery of Portuguese society, lethargic and stratified before the revolution of 25 de Abril, H decides to conduct a profound self-examination, throwing himself into an enterprise with which, until then, he has had little familiarity: writing. This man in crisis reflects upon his life and his interest in art, while executing a self-cleansing operation or really an eugenic operation, as the process brings about the perfecting of life-conditions.
After having felt himself evaporate in the ease of a life without horizons, as if he had become his own analysand — although, to be sure, his self-examination is far removed from psychoanalytic technique — the portrait painter witnesses a change in his relationship to art and turns into an artist, into a painter lato sensu , defined as such in view of himself and of the world. Jose, the clerk in All the Names.
In terms of feminine characters, mutatis mutandis , we see M reflected in the publisher Maria Sara in The History of the Siege of Lisbon and in the lost woman who takes her own life in All the Names. This elusive figure becomes the Ariadne who, in absentia , guides Sr. Jose when he resolves to confront as an individual and an equal his hierarchical superiors and the authority that emanates from the massive archives at the General Conservatory. On the other hand, perhaps it would not be excessive to establish a link between the portrait-painter turned artist, who purifies himself through the act of writing, and Jose Saramago himself, who at fifty-four years of age, after having experimented with various literary genres and having performed various activities connected to creative writing such as journalism, translation and literary criticism, finally decides to establish himself as a novelist.
Nevertheless, there are texts in which anonymous characters are described according to their exteriority, excluding any other process of individuation. Both O Ano de and the short stories in Objecto Quase privilege collective processes. In the majority of these works, the author employs an omniscient point of view, less concerned with accompanying a character in a determined time period — whether at the level of the narrated events or in his or her subjective life — as he is with articulating an external state of things through events related to the character.
A clerk without any importance in a society subjected to total bureaucratic control, he is as thinly individualized as Raimundo Benvindo da Silva or Sr. Imprisoned in a car seat, in a position that demeans him and reminds the reader of the servitude to which the mechanisms of consumer capitalism reduce the citizen, a man dies, literally, before knowing how to evaluate what has happened to him.go to site
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In each story, the characters — the last centaur on earth in the former, and a capricious King who is fascinated with the construction of cemeteries and mausoleums in the latter — are undoubtedly related to the lineage of protagonists in mythological fables and narratives. However, two of the stories in Objecto Quase present characters that are differentiated, as much from one another as with regard to other stories included in the collection. Displaying with notable results the parti pris of irony, the writer transforms the anobideo insect — which had eaten away at the leg of the chair, an object-turned- instrument used to terminate a dictatorship — into a generic pop-culture protagonist typical of those in comic book stories : Anobium, a termite species of Tom Mix who, without firing a single shot, yet certain of the ON SARAMAGO SPRING 41 efficacy of his demarche , is elevated by the author into one of the most deserving heroes in Portuguese history.
The reading of Blindness , for example, is greatly enriched upon returning to the short stories; they deal with the same chaotic, deconstructed city that subjects its inhabitants to a kind of totalizing servitude, as I have had the opportunity to consider at greater length in another essay Costa An important aspect of his narrative from on has to do with fictional situations that recreate, amplify, and develop preexisting constructs, as if his work consisted of fragments in constant internal evolution. In fact, Levantado do Chao can be viewed as a book of rupture, of self- rupture, if you will.
I will return to this point later in the essay. I will pursue a parenthetical thought in order to clarify this problematic assertion. The relationship between Levantado do Chao and Portuguese Neo- Realism can be, en passant, compared to that of Grande Sertao: Veredas in the context of Brazilian literature. Both books are terminal apexes of vigorous literary currents that have predated them. Obviously, there are great differences at the level of writing between Levantado do Chao and Barranco de Cegos — that is, between the work in which Saramago breaks with his own narrative tradition and what is perhaps the most significant, if not paradigmatic, Portuguese Neo-Realist novel.
As in O Ano de 1 , the theme of authoritarianism and its overthrow flourishes with undeniable originality in Levantado do Chao. In addition to obvious distinctions — e. Because of this very dynamic, acting in a way that sets him apart from the others, the narrator gives him speech so that he may analyze himself. Thus, assuming just for a moment that the clan of rural workers in Levantado do Chao constitutes a type of collective character, we encounter here the two arch-characters of the writers later work.
After the experience of writing Levantado do Chao , Saramago was in a position to profit completely from the creation of his fictional characters. Within the magnificent textual mass of Baltasar and Blimunda , the clairvoyant Blimunda and the soldier Baltasar Sete-Sois can be viewed as extensions of the characters in Levantado do Chao , yet even more fictionalized, if possible, and with the following proviso: between the lived experience at the basis of Levantado do Chao , owing to which narrative invention blends with what the writer presumably heard with his own ears, and the conception of fictional characters in Baltasar and Blimunda , there is a plongee in the literalizing imaginary.
As I have outlined in a previous essay, the conception of Blimunda draws on historical information, in the form of a travel account of Baroque Portugal by a Frenchman with the suggestive name of Chevalier Charles Frederic de Merveilleux. Joao VVisto por Tres Forasteiros I have attempted to explore one of these vectors throughout my essay; if the exploratory effort has invited and incited others to share in this endeavor, then my intention has been fully realized.
Let us only recall the supplanting of the subjectively imagined character by the character objectively considered, whose status has been much discussed. Works Cited Agamben, Giorgio. La parola e il fantasma nella cultura occidentale. Milan: Einaudi, Chaves, Castelo Branco, ed. O Portugal de D. Joao Visto por Tres Forasteiros. Lisboa: Biblioteca Nacional, Costa, Horacio.
Uma Homenagem. Beartiz Berrini. Jose Saramago: O Periodo Formativo. Interview with Horacio Costa. Levantado do Chao. Manual de Pintura e Caligrafia. Lisboa: Moraes, Memorial do Convento. Objecto Quase. Lisbon: Moraes, Os Poemas Posslveis. Terra do Pecado. Lisboa: Minerva, Jose Saramago. Lisboa: Dom Quixote, Saramago, Deste Mundo e do Outro The past is filled with voices which cannot keep quiet and alongside my shadow there is an endless multitude of people justifying it.
Saramago, A Bagagem do Viajante Everything in the world is giving us answers, what has not yet arrived is the time to ask questions. All these works reflect, in different ways, on the past of the Portuguese nation, seen from a present perspective while a process of revision of the history of Portugal unfolds within the fictional text.
This reappreciation of Portuguese history gives rise not only to an analysis of the intimate relations between the writing of history and political power, but also to an epistemological and ideological examination of the historical, human, linguistic, literary, ethical and political heritage of the Portuguese nation. It is a literary production that seeks to understand a complex and constantly evolving present by turning to the past, to the writing of history, and to the ways in which our knowledge about the past is processed and transmitted.
Ever since the end of World War Two, human beings have struggled to come to terms with a profound sense of anguish caused, on the one hand, by the many attempts to annihilate the human subject in the various conflicts happening throughout the world, and, on the other, by the uncertainty about the truthfulness of our representations of the empirical world. More specifically I am referring, first, to the great interest in the past that literary fiction has taken, which manifests itself especially in the rejection of a clear distinction between truth and fiction and between past and present Fokkema , and, second, to the attention that literary works dedicate, in a process of self- reflection, to fiction itself, i.
The former literary trend is connected with the production of different types of historical fiction where the dialogue between fiction and history predominates; the latter has to do with the experimental character of literature, revealed through the great interest in the aesthetic use of language to create literary texts, as well as through the predominance granted to metafiction. The degree of interest in the past that literature has taken has helped pave the way to granting the same degree of credibility to the different representations of reality provided by historical and fictional discourse.
This conferred a status of truth on the latter type of discourse alone, even when the former made explicit reference to chronologically precise historical periods reconstructed with the utmost accuracy. This situation was mostly the result of the belief in historiography as based on documentary record, without questioning, however, either its validity or the criteria that guided the selection of the documents, or the way in which the historiographer used them.
This statement reminds us of the distinction between facts and events that Linda Hutcheon makes in relation to postmodern literature, highlighting both history and fiction as human mental constructions, systems of signification through which we can understand the past Poetics According to Hutcheon, the meaning of the past does not lie in the events, but rather in the meaning s -producing systems that transform these past events into historical facts. This innovation is closely linked with the way in which we regard the old relation of opposition between fact and fiction.
This position leads to a significant blurring of the line separating fact from fiction and allows for a dialogue between historical and fictional discourse as representations of the empirical world that draw our attention to the unstable nature of these representations. Within this dialogue, it is important to consider the potentiality and the viability of some fictional techniques, described by Maria Alzira Seixo.
Lugares 84 , in the modification of the symbolic and ideological scope of both historical and fictional representation. The most significant of these techniques are: introducing unexpected, imaginary, or fantastic events into the narrative; elaborating certain fictional characters; and using heritage in its multiple forms as a parodic tool to reconstruct the past, correct history and re write it. In view of the above, let us consider the following proposal for a typology of the main trends of postmodern historical fiction.
Starting from the assumption that quite a large range of historical fictions appeared in the second half of the twentieth century, I propose the following typology, composed of four main types of novels that incorporate historical matter and transform the past and written history into their subject. Thus, it neither excludes different readings and approaches nor denies the possibility of discovering other historical fictions likely to introduce changes in this typology and to lead to its rearrangement.
The first type is the historical novel. The denomination was chosen because this type of novel represents, as it were, a development of two models: the nineteenth-century historical novel, which followed the pattern set by Walter Scott, and modernist historical fiction.
In other words, I believe that postmodern historical novels inherited a concern with reconstructing the past with rigor and detail from nineteenth-century historical fiction, taking on a role that seeks to complement historiography while affirming their character as fictional works with a potential to depict history in a creative and attractive way. On the other hand, postmodern historical novels show similarities with modernist narratives that focused on the past.
Indeed, the postmodern model performs not only the didactic function of disseminating knowledge about history through fiction, but also the eminently critical function of making frequent and explicit comments of a metahistorical and metafictional nature. These comments are used above all to draw attention to the relativity of historiography and to the verbal translation of empirical data. However, whereas modernist historical fiction stressed the subjective process of shaping the experience and consciousness of history, what I have termed postmodern historical fiction highlights not so much the writing of history as, rather, the process of construction and affirmation of one specific version of history, with its consequent political and ideological implications.
In other words, this type of novel is more interested in investigating the motives that led, a posteriori , to the historical record of a certain event than in the event per se. This interest draws our attention to two factors: the partial and subjective nature of historical knowledge and explanation, and the likelihood of there being diverging views on the same event, which in its turn calls into question the legitimacy of historical sources. For this Portuguese critic, the use of fantastic elements in contemporary fiction allows first, the interference of two worlds or two orders — the natural and the supernatural, the rational and the irrational — where it is unclear which of the two converts into the other; second, the category of alterity that results from this interference and which takes on various configurations such as ghost, spirit, double personality, etc.
Lugares 52 10 In this type of historical fiction, there are no deviations from official history, and the common strategies used to highlight empirical reality and the instability of its representation are the comparison between different orders and the circulation of certain characters through various worlds and time periods. Although Seixo Lugares 52 distinguishes between the fantastic genre and other contiguous genres such as, for instance, fantasy, science fiction and horror fiction , in the second category of my typology I include elements that historical fiction typically borrows from science fiction.
The reason for this inclusion is that the degree of alterity needed to deconstruct possible mythifications of historical discourse is often introduced into works of historical fiction by referring to worlds and ways of living that are completely different from those experienced in everyday life. On the one hand, it is not pertinent to regard them as historical novels, if we bear in mind the abovementioned characteristics of this category. On the other, it would be hasty to classify them as fantastic novels tout court , because, although they invite a flight into alternative worlds, they respect the canonical version of history by referring, directly or indirectly, to the real world.
Thus, it is more functional to give them the more encompassing denomination of supra-real historical fiction, which alludes both to the incorporation of historical material and to the reference to the possible existence of one or more world s organized according to rules that are different from those governing the empirical world. Uchronian novels have a counterfactual character, as they are based on the notion that any historical situation could have developed within a framework of possibilities different from those that are socially and historically accepted.
This type of novel resembles the other two. On the one hand, just like historical novels, it uses canonical history as its source; on the other, it finds inspiration in elements and discursive modes that are typical of the fantastic genre and of science fiction.
A Literatura No Ensino Médio Os Gêneros Poeticos Em Travessia No Brasil e Na França
In other words, in conceiving a uchronian novel, the writer resorts to the creation of possible alternative worlds that, when they intersect with the literary model of the real, draw attention to the need to establish a new relation with history. This type of fiction places special emphasis on the process of constructing history, on its writing, and on the transformation of events into facts, attributing great importance to the sources and archives of official history.
These are parodied and subverted in the projection of a different course of events, which is consequently represented by a character who often plays a role equivalent to that of a historian. It seems appropriate to include another novel by Saramago in this category: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ The literary text reveals a Christ who is, above all, human, as are all the other members of his family.
In my opinion, what this author regards as the representative model of the postmodern novel comprises only the novels belonging to the first category of postmodern fiction I identified at the beginning of this discussion, that is to say fiction that is interested in the past and in the rewriting of history. These two novels, although making use of different fictional techniques the discussion of which goes beyond the scope of this article , are a good illustration of the reflection on the im possibility of escaping from the prison of language in ON SARAMAGO SPRING 57 representing the empirical world.
Levantado do Chao is an interesting case of historiographic metafiction. All these events are seen through the eyes of various generations of a poor peasant family from Alentejo and are filtered through a narrator who critically analyses historical facts from a present viewpoint. Fiction can thus vindicate a new way of writing history and — why not — a new way of making history. Levantado do Chao discusses the ideological writing of official history by playing with two intertexts that are well known to its potential Portuguese readership: the literary and the biblical.
It is precisely by confronting the voices of power represented by the landowners, the church and the state with the voices stifled by the dominant classes that the novel uncovers both the project of the perpetuation of injustice and social inequality and that of the battle against it through a progressive raising of political and social awareness in those who have the courage to fight to make themselves heard. In sum, Levantado do Chao is a fictional text that rereads and rewrites Portuguese history in a politically and socially committed way Seixo, Lugares , thereby drawing attention to the need for a more humanized history.
Considering my proposal for a typology of the main trends of postmodern historical fiction in more general terms, it is important to note the problematic underlying the four great types of novel that make up the typology, i. Hence the necessity to tell what has already been told in a different way. In short, and to paraphrase the quotation from Baltasar and Blimunda that appears in the epigraph to this article, there are different ways of formulating questions to the answers that the world gives us.
It is the narrator who frequently tells about past events long after their occurrence, and who knows better than all the other characters the course of historical events and the impact they will have on the narrative and on the empirical reality. Thus it is most commonly the narrator who ingeniously regulates the mechanisms of analepsis and prolepsis, the introduction of anachronisms, and the announcing of prophecies, which act within the limits of the expectations of the potential readers of literary texts, prefiguring, to a great extent, the symbolic dimension of literary representation.
Nonetheless, we cannot forget the existence of historical fictions such as the abovementioned works of Gore Vidal. This will enable me to consider the specificity of the novels belonging to the categories of supra-real historical fiction and uchronian fiction. What interests me above all is to see how the boundary is drawn between this world the real world which is modeled by historical discourse and the other world, which incorporates elements from the fantastic genre and creates alternative fictional worlds.
Thus, I propose to consider, on the one hand, where and how fantastic elements enter Baltasar and Blimunda and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis that is, where and how historical fiction becomes supra-real and, on the other hand, where and how The History of the Siege of Lisbon becomes a uchronian novel.
However, no mention is made of the airship in chapter five of the novel, which deals with a special encounter between a crippled soldier, Baltasar Mateus, and Blimunda, simple people who apparently are brought together while watching the procession of those accused by the Inquisition. Their meeting is somehow contrived by a gagged woman in the procession.
She is Sebastiana de Jesus, who has visions and revelations, and who feels her heart jump when she is about to locate her daughter Blimunda in the middle of the crowd. I am about to see Blimunda, I am about to see her. Ah, there she is. Blimunda, Blimunda, Blimunda, my child. She has seen me but cannot speak, she must pretend that she does not recognize me, or even pretend to despise me, a mother who is bewitched and excommunicated, although no more than a quarter Jewess and converted.
Do not speak, Blimunda. Just look at me with those eyes of yours, which have the power to see everything. Who can that tall stranger be who stands beside Blimunda? She does not know — alas, she does not know who he can be or where he comes from. Whatever will become of them?
Why do my powers fail me? Judging from his tattered clothes, that harrowed expression, that missing hand, he must be a soldier. Farewell, Blimunda, for I shall see you no more. Then, turning to the tall man standing beside her, she asked: What is your name? And the man immediately told her, thus acknowledging that this woman had a right to ask him. He told her: Baltasar Mateus, called Sete-Sois.
The monarch honors the ceremony of the auto-da-fe with his presence, emphasizing the support given to the clergy. Most curious of all is the irony used by the narrator in describing the procession, his mingling with the condemned, and his characterization of the event as a moment of general cheerfulness, an entertaining show for the people. The auto-da-fe therefore loses part of its religious character to reveal a recreational component that, in its turn, deconstructs the authority of the Church.
This process is then reinforced by the importance given to the marriage ritual between Blimunda and Baltasar, undoubtedly heretical and deserving punishment, according to the religious laws of that age. The introduction of supernatural elements only in the fifth chapter confirms what the first four chapters had already announced, that is, the criticism of the power structure of D. In fact, the introduction of another world in the novel does not surprise the reader, since the preceding chapters have prepared him or her for a narrative that privileges subversion. By emphasizing the heretical side of the political and religious ceremony of the auto-da-fe, by describing the union of a specific couple among the many that have come together to celebrate the event, and by associating Blimunda, from the very beginning, with the supernatural, Saramago hints ON SARAMAGO SPRING 63 at the important role that will be played by Blimunda and Baltasar in the political and ideological criticism leveled by the novel in its retelling of the history of the building of the Mafra Convent.
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis is the novel by Saramago in which the inclusion of fantastic elements is taken to an extreme. Its main character is Ricardo Reis, one of the heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa, who is transformed into a fictional character. Saramago takes advantage of the fact that Fernando Pessoa died in to re create Ricardo Reis, who in the narrative returns to Portugal after many years in Brazil. The fantastic component enters the narrative surreptitiously in the very first chapter, through the gloomy atmosphere of a rainy winter day surrounding the Highland Brigades arrival in Lisbon.
He takes the pen and enters the essential details about himself in the register of arrivals, so that it might be known who he claims to be, in the appropriate box on the lined page. Name, Ricardo Reis, age, forty-eight, place of birth, Oporto, marital status, bachelor, profession, doctor, last place of residence, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, whence he has arrived aboard the Highland Brigade. It reads like the beginning of a confession, an intimate autobiography, all that is hidden is contained in these handwritten lines, the only problem is to discover the rest.
The incorporation of another world — which is, in reality, the world of poetic work, a world that exists only on paper — is reinforced by references to the books brought along by Ricardo Reis. One of them in particular acquires special significance because it belonged to the ship but was kept by the passenger upon leaving the vessel. Also emerging in the first chapter is another element that will acquire particular significance in the course of the novel: the mirror.
Newspapers can, indeed, be interpreted as a sort of mirror of the actuality of , a mirror reflecting the somber image of Fascism, which was gaining ground in Portugal and in Europe, an image of the world distorted by censorship and power interests. This is achieved through the narration of a version of the siege of Lisbon that contradicts official historiography, starting from the assumption that the Crusaders did not help Dom Afonso Henriques fight the Moors in 1 The first chapter functions as a sort of prologue, in which the proofreader Raimundo Silva introduces his opinions regarding the relative character of historical discourse and the importance of correction, referring to the epigraph of the novel, taken from an imaginary Book of Exhortations.
The second chapter functions as a gateway to an alternative world. In this chapter, the notion of error becomes relevant again, going back to the reflection begun at the outset of the book in the conversation between the proofreader and the historian. The passage into the world of historical deception is not direct.
To this effect, I have analyzed some of the reasons for the interest that postmodern literature has taken in the past and in the weaknesses of historical discourse, so as to present a proposal for a typology which can account for some of the regularities characterizing historical fiction produced in the second half of the twentieth century.
For this reason, these novels should not be apprehended simply as rereadings of the past, but also, and especially, as investigations into the present seen from a social, cultural, and political perspective. In all the narratives, this investment is laid bare by privileging the point of view of the Other, without which the correction and the critical rewriting of the past would not be possible. On the political dimension of postmodern literary representation, see Foley, Hutcheon Poetics and Politics , and Wesseling.
On the problem of historical representation and its relation with the narrative discourse, besides the aforementioned volume, see also White Metahistory. On modernist historical fiction, see Wesseling and Hutcheon Poetics. At the end of , Vidal published The Golden Age, which is also part of this series of novels. On the main trends in scientific fiction produced from the s onwards, see Ebert.
For a discussion about the pertinence of the ontological dominance in postmodernism, see, among others, Hutcheon, Poetics , and Wesseling. The door at the end of the hallway had a little enameled plate, black numerals on a white background. This is no simple reflection of the common and familiar proportions the mirror is confronted with, length, width, height, they are not reproduced in it one by one and readily identifiable. Instead they are fused into a simple intangible apparition on a plane that is at once remote and near, unless there is some paradox in this explanation which the mind avoids out of laziness.
Here is Ricardo Reis contemplating himself in the depths of the mirror, one of the countless persons that he is, all of them weary. Nothing more than yet another regurgitation of those interminable, played-out accounts of the siege, the description of places, the speeches and deeds of the royal personage Works Cited Auerbach, Erich. The Representation of Reality in Western Literature.
A LITERATURA NO ENSINO MÉDIO: OS GÊNEROS
Willard R. Princeton: Princeton UP, Bertens, Hans. The Idea of the Postmodern. A History. London: Routledge, Bessiere, Jean. Best, Steven, and Douglas Kellner. Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations. New York: Guilford, Clareson, Thomas D. Understanding Contemporary American Science Fiction. Currie, Marc, ed. Essex: Longman, Ebert, Teresa L.
Elliott, Emory, ed. Columbia Literary History of the United States. New York: Columbia UP, Fokkema, Douwe W. Historia Literaria, Modernismo e Pos-Modernismo. Abel Barros Baptista. Lisboa: Vega, Foley, Barbara. Telling the Truth. The Theory and Practice of Documentary Fiction. Ithaca: Cornell UP, Foucault, Michel. As Palavras eAs Coisas. Antonio Ramos Rosa. Algumas Notas sobre a Historicidade da Literatura.
Hutcheon, Linda. New York: Routledge, The Politics of Postmodernism. Jameson, Fredric. The Political Unconscious. Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Krysinski, Wladimir. Lukacs, Georg. The Historical Novel. Hannah and Stanley Mitchell. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, Marinho, Maria de Fatima. O Romance Historico em Portugal. Porto: Campo das Letras, Oxford and Coimbra: Associagao Internacional de Lusitanistas, Martins, Adriana Alves de Paula.
Historia e Ficgao: Um Didlogo. Lisboa: Fim de Seculo, McCaffery, Larry. McHale, Brian. Postmodernist Fiction. Mota, Jose Manuel. A Fantasia Cientffica de Philip K. Pessoa, Fernando. Obra Poetica. Maria Aliete Galhoz. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Aguilar, A Bagagem do Viajante. Baltasar and Blimunda. Giovanni Pontiero. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Trans, of Memorial do Convento. Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand do Brasil, Deste Mundo e do Outro. The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. New York: Harcourt Brace, The History of the Siege of Lisbon. London: Harvill, 1 Trans, of Historia do Cerco de Lisboa.
Sao Paulo: Cia. The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. Seixo, Maria Alzira. Lugares da Ficgao em Jose Saramago. O Essencial e Outros Ensaios. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, Silva, Teresa Cristina Cerdeira da. Waugh, Patricia. Wesseling, Elisabeth. Writing History as a Prophet. Postmodernist Innovations of the Historical Novel. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, White, Hayden. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, The Content of the Form. Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation. John the words of Jesus. The question that interests me — captured in an ironic synthesis by the Proustian quote — is the representation of the others speech in a literary discourse, which, through its reference to the other, establishes with him or her a double-faced relationship composed in equal parts of respect and betrayal.
In other words, writing is understood here as a labyrinthine agglomeration of discourses belonging to different times, places and genres and whose fragmentary irruptions break up the allegedly smooth continuity of the text. At the same time respected and betrayed, those singular utterances, when brought into the discursive present, place in check the historical linearity that had situated them in a given chronological context, henceforward rendered inoperative.
Ibidem, pp. Tivemos o conceito de realismo presente David Lodge, Modes of Modern Writing, , p. Tzevtan Todorov Critique de la Critique, , pp. Em fora assinado, entre D. Sobre a ida de Fernando Afonso de Albuquerque e outros embaixadores de D. Henrique,76 nomeada- mente Samuel Purchas c.
Pedro de Meneses. Vide William J. Entwistle e P. DI, p. Pedro de Meneses, , p. Embora Anthony D. Smith, Nationalism and Modernism, pp. Boaventura de Sousa Santos, op. Ibidem, p. A simbologia do mito vai-se alterando de contexto para contexto, e os Doze passam de mito familiar a nacional e simbolizam a honra, a valentia e os valores tidos como portugueses, bem como a fama conquistada no, e vinda do, estrangeiro. Missiva de Guerra Junqueiro, Jornal de Viana, ano 4, n. Veja-se Maria Teresa Pinto Coelho, op.
Armostrong, Nations before Nationalism, , e posteriormente por Anthony D. Smith, Ethnic Origins of Nations, , pp. William K. Ferrell, Literature and Film as Modern Mythology, , p. Eric Hobsbawm e Terence Ranger ed. The Invention of Tradition, , pp. Manfred Beller e Joep Leerssen eds.
A Critical Survey, , p. Celeste R. Vide H. Sousa org. Mertaniemi eds. Dahl, op. Coutinho Mendes, M. Dyserinck e J. Leerssen e os 23 vols. Julie M. William L. Johnson, op. Barfoot ed. Barker ed. Leyens, V. Yzerbyt e G. McGarty et al. Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, , p. One of the basic insights in image studies is that the mecha- nism of the representation of foreign nations can only be analysed properly if we take the attitude of the author into account.
A representation of Britain by a Frenchman or by a Dutchman or by a German may differ because of the nationality of the respective authors. There is, in other words, always a degree of subjectivity auto-image involved in the representation of another culture. Waldemar Zacharasiewicz, Imagology Revisited, p. Walter Lippman, Public Opinion, , pp.
Vejam-se os estudos de Kenneth E. Walter Lippman, op. Ou se o traria de Normandia o conde de Abranches? Olavi K. Almeida Garrett, Obras Completas, vol. Verificaremos assim que o objectivo de T. Imagologia e Mitos Nacionais 37 1. Vejam-se A. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations, pp. Como recorda Ana Paula C. Idem, A Identidade Nacional, , p. Hastings, The Construction of Nationhood, , pp. Zimmer, op. Sobre esse discurso nacionalista em geral, veja-se Anthony D. Isso e nada mais.
George L. Almeida Faria, Cortes, , p. Apud A. Barthes, Mythologies, , p. Stuart Hall, Representation, , p. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of the Nation, , p. Vejam-se, por exemplo, Patrick J. Geary, The Myth of Nations, , P. Lawrence, Nationalism: History and Theory, e J. Hearn, op. Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, Oliver Zimmer, Nationalism in Europe, p.
Joep Leerssen National Thought in Europe, pp. Smith, National Identity, Smith, Nationalism and Modernism, p. O leitor tem assim Brincker et al. Mike Crang, Cultural Geography, , p. Imagologia e Mitos Nacionais 45 2. Vide Manuel Soeiro, Anales de Flandes, vol. Vernant, Myth and Society in Ancient Greece, , p. Para T. Eliot, Selected Prose of T. Eliot, , p. Michel Tournier, Vent Paraclet, , p. Philippe Beck, op.
David Miller, On Nationalism, , pp. Vejam-se C. Dubois ed. Chauvin ed. Centrally, myth is about perceptions rather than historically validated truths [ It is the content of the myth that is important, not its accuracy as a historical account. Myth, therefore, is one of a number of crucial instruments in cultural reproduction.
It acts as a means of standardization and of storage of information. Although they may feel very alone during the quest, at its end their reward is a sense of community: with themselves, with other people [ Anna Klobucka, op. Mary Fulbrook, op. Carol S. The labyrinth is thoroughly known.
We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world. Imagologia e Mitos Nacionais 51 nacional.
Levinger e P. Imagologia e Mitos Nacionais 53 2. A Demanda do Santo Graal, , p. Costa da Silva. Recentemente, a vila de Penedono, onde existem, por Vejam-se ibidem, pp. Duperron de Castera, vol. Comentados pelo Licenciado Manuel Correia, p. Jonathan William Wade, op. Nas pp. Manuel Soeiro, op. Manuel V.
Pedro de Meneses, , pp. Quer a viagem de D. Pedro e a sua estada no ducado da Borgonha, quer as tentativas de D. Fernando, filho segundo de D. Riley, op. Imagologia e Mitos Nacionais 57 se instalam na Flandres, tal como viria a acontecer em , quando Isabel de Portugal, filha de D. VV, Monumenta Henriciana, vol. Si furent les armes acomplies si comme vous advez oy. De acordo Vide Carlos Riley, op. Faro, Receitas e Despesas da Fazenda Real de a , , doc.
Pedro e pelo infante D. Na viagem de regresso de D. Pedro e D. Isabel, filha do conde de Urgel, que teria lugar em Agosto desse ano. Fernando se dirigem para esse destino de barco. Duarte, , p. Imagologia e Mitos Nacionais 61 tendo D. Pedro, e, no ano seguinte, D. Afonso V nomeia-o alcaide-mor do castelo da cidade, cargo que lhe vale alguns desentendimentos com os moradores da capital.
Anselmo Braancamp Freire, op. Hugh E. Pedro entram em conflito, levando muito provavelmente ao regresso de Almada a Portugal, no final de Setembro, para defender D. Henrique, para o ducado de Coimbra, para se juntar a D. Vaz de Almada aconselha D. Afonso V, , p. Sabes o caso. Afonso Henriques e que se estabeleceram depois em Almada, de onde adviria o apelido. Vide AA. Julia Kristeva, Desire in Language, , p. Eco, Apostillas a El Nombre de la Rosa, , p. The Authority of Interpretive Communities, , p.
Filipa de Lencastre com D. Canary e Henry Kozicki eds. Sobre Filipa de Lencastre, consultem-se, entre outros, William J. Basto, op. Vejam-se Peter E. Coleridge, Biographia Literaria. Isabel — duquesa de Borgonha, filha de D. Vide Ana Paula J. Jacques Paviot, Portugal, pp. No such restriction applies to the […] agents in fictional worlds. O seu filho Vasco Fernandes Coutinho torna-se es- cudeiro de D. Oliveira, A Casa dos Coutinhos, pp. Henrique Seruca, op. Ibidem, VI, DI, pp. Ibidem, Maria Vitalina Leal de Matos, s. III, tomos , , pp. Jacinto Cordeiro, op. Jaime Cruz-Ortiz, op. In this respect, the Portuguese comedias are often hybrid resistance plays in which dramatists convey their national identity in a foreign tongue.
Vejam-se, por exemplo, M. Lorenz e S. Berger eds. De acordo com Pierre Nora dir. Desculpai-o da valentia com que elle trata este assumpto. Francisco Gomes de Amorim, Versos, , p. Ainda hoje decahidos como estamos do nosso antigo esplendor, somos o povo mais affavel, mais delicado, mais cortez e mais respeitoso para com as damas entre quantos eu tive a honra [ Apud Alberto Pimenta, op. A 8 de Junho de , o autor informa J.
Alberto Pimenta, op. Ibidem, I, , IV, e I, , respectivamente. Vereis em que me fundo. Consulte-se ibidem, pp. Que sentimentos Ao Poeta inspira um amoroso fogo! No seu final estava quase o Poema; Fatalidade que persegue a um morto! Imagologia e Mitos Nacionais 91 Nestas estrofes, T. Foram doze, portanto, os desafios. Vide Alberto Pimenta, op. Ibidem, II, Ibidem, IV, Em , Jacinto Heliodoro Loureiro n. Para uma breve biobibliografia, veja-se s.
Veja-se Ana Isabel P. Jacinto Loureiro, op. Beatriz Filha Natural de D. Ibidem, II, viii, p. Francisco Soares Toscano, op. Beatriz , filha bastarda de D. Beatriz, Filha de El-Rei D. Vejam-se Teresa Pinto Coelho, op. Maria Manuel Lucas, op. Ibidem, estrofe Vide ibidem, p. Os tercetos associam, mais uma vez, a valentia dos doze cavaleiros do reinado de D.
Revista Nova, n. Apud ibidem. Vejam-se Maria Isabel da C. Different genres and media […] deploy a genre- or medium-specific Imagologia e Mitos Nacionais rhetoric to create powerful images of national others, images which are bound up with cultural norms and are designed to structure systems of thought. National stereotyping is never a monomedial process because the creation and perpetuation of culturally normative knowledge builds on the perpetual reaffirmation of cultural notions of self and other. Third, national auto- and heteroimages are historically variable forms of cultural signification.
Finally, national images have a pragmatic dimension and thus fulfil diverse functions in specific historical, cultural, and aesthetic contexts, functions which cannot be reduced to the construction of national identity. Braga demonstra-o. Paul Magnuson, Reading Public Romanticism, , p. Imagologia e Mitos Nacionais 5. Apud Marques Braga et alii org.
Amadeu C. Consulte-se Maria Teresa Pinto Coelho, op. Amor da Patria Santo [ Ignez de Castro, e a encantadora aventura dos Doze de Inglaterra. Avrom Fleishman, op. Henrique Vasconcelos Novidades, n. A auto-imagem adquire contornos Zacharasiewicz, Imagology Revisited, , pp.
Gaetano Mezzacapo , in ibidem pp. Jean Froissart, Chronicles, , pp. Torna-se, portanto, significativo o facto de ser esse inimigo da coroa a voz da afronta que leva os cava- leiros portugueses a Londres. O silencio gela o sangue! O tio do rei escolhe como conselheiros Geoffrey Sobre a fonte, veja-se G. Hope Moncrieff, Romance and Legend of Chivalry, Veja-se G. Braga e por Alexandre Herculano nas pp. Viajam encobertos com os onze cava- leiros, a bordo da nau Frol da Rosa, os embaixadores portugueses, Martim Ocem — perso- nagem, tal como D.
Teresa Pinto Coelho, op. Gomes F.
Maria Teresa Pinto Coelho, op. Gaspar Frutuoso, Saudades da Terra, livro 2, , p. Se na despedida dos Doze em Lisboa Richard Hakluyt, Voyages in Eight Volumes, vol. Nascimento, s. Nigel Rapport, s. Mikhail Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination, p. Braga pelo radical laicismo positivista. Jones, Religion and the Political Imagination, Thus the city is seen as a body, monster, jungle, ocean or volcano. Such metaphorical equations usually have an ideological quality. Ronan Paddison ed. Vide K. Lynch, The Image of the City, , pp. Bridge e S.
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Watson eds. Consulte-se DI, pp. Sobre os filhos de D. Fernandes Agudo, op. Era o triumpho Seruca, op. Similarly, smellscapes will involve smell events and smell marks. Visual evidence becomes hearsay and nosesay. Relph, Place and Placelessness, , T. Engen, The Perception of Odors, e T.
Engen e B. Isabel, mas sim D. Beatriz, filha bastarda de D. O Rei! Meu pai! For every one of these events there are ceremonies whose essential purpose is to enable the individual to pass from one defined position to another that is equally well defined. Ibidem, V, viii, p. Arnold van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, , p. McKeon ed. A Historical Approach, , p. Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folktale, , p.