59. Capangala e arredores: questões coloniais e pós-coloniais

Datado de “Assis, 25 de junho de 1961″, o conto “Capangala não responde” (ler) foi situado pelo autor simplesmente em “África, 1961″. Embora Capangala seja topônimo de Angola (da província de Kwanza Norte) e de Moçambique (da província de Tete), a imprecisão cartográfica do texto é logo dirimida quando se recorda que a guerra de libertação moçambicana só se inicia em 1964. Contudo, a escolha desse nome como que antecipa a pluralidade espacial onde a guerra campearia.

Sabendo-se que o ataque à cadeia de Luanda, ocorrido a 4 de fevereiro de 1961, marca o início da contestação à colonização portuguesa, desencadeando a repressão militar, por parte da Metrópole, que se estenderá por mais de uma década, é fácil deduzir que o conto de Jorge de Sena será um dos primeiros textos da Literatura Portuguesa (se não o primeiro…) a tematizar a guerra colonial. Guerra cruenta, cujos lances cedo chegaram ao conhecimento do escritor graças a sua participação direta (de 1959 a 1962) no jornal anti-salazarista Portugal Democrático, editado em São Paulo desde 1956 (ver), o qual se beneficiava de preciosa rede clandestina de informações para publicar as notícias então proibidas à imprensa em Portugal.

Das leituras analíticas do conto e da coletânea que o contém, aqui trazemos o ensaio pioneiro de Beatriz Mendonça Lima, centrado no discurso, e o de Anthony Soares, que, aproximando Os LusíadasOs Grão-Capitães e A Jangada de Pedra, rastreia questões da identidade portuguesa numa perspectiva pós-colonial.

 

“CAPANGALA NÃO RESPONDE”, DE JORGE DE SENA: A LÍNGUA PORTUGUESA EM SINTONIA COM O ABSURDO*

Beatriz de Mendonça Lima**

 

A vida na minha terra é que é inefável.

A minha terra não é inefável.

Inefável é o que não pode ser dito.

JORGE DE SENA*

 

A institucionalização da Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa em 1996 reafirmou a importância do idioma como fator de união. No entanto, em 1961, tempo de desunião, a língua portuguesa era utilizada por Jorge de Sena para expressar justamente o difícil relacionamento no âmbito de países que formariam a Comunidade, em um texto ficcional envolvendo três continentes por ela abrangidos: América do Sul, África e Europa. Refiro-me a “Capangala não responde”, escrito no Brasil e ambientado em Angola no início da guerra colonial portuguesa. O autor era português de nacionalidade brasileira.

Nesse conto de Os Grão-Capitães1, Sena trata da dificuldade de comunicação não só entre Portugal e África no momento em que os antigos laços se rompiam, mas também da dificuldade de muitos portugueses em se relacionarem com a sua própria pátria. Observamos, a partir do título, que, assim como a atitude antiliterária dos autores do Teatro do Absurdo indicava a negação da linguagem como instrumento de comunicação num mundo sem sentido, em “Capangala não responde” os silêncios, as repetições e a linguagem não verbal denunciariam a degradação de um império em ruínas, igualmente esvaziado de sentido. Os inúmeros ruídos e gestos, especialmente quando relacionados com a boca – roncar, pigarrear, cuspir, fitar o cuspo, sentar-se ao lado do cuspo, passar a mão na boca, a voz que vem “molhada por entre os dentes” etc. –, além de substituírem a palavra oral, denotando a dificuldade de verbalização, intensificam a impressão de náusea e degradação que permeia todo o texto. Outro recurso não verbal se observa nas atitudes dos personagens, quase sempre deitados, sentados, agachados, de cócoras ou rastejando, mas raramente de pé, sugerindo o pouco que ainda lhes restava de dignidade humana.

O diálogo frustrado que abre o conto expressa bem a angústia do soldado que tenta obter da base portuguesa em Capangala uma resposta salvadora – tentativa que se repete, com variações, ao longo do texto:

 

– Capangala?

– Patrulha 20 chama Capangala.

– Capangala?

– Patrulha 20 chama Capangala.

– Um momento, trrrr… Capangala?

– Patrulha 20 chama Capangala.

– Já ouvi. Espere. Capangala?

– Patrulha 20 chama Capangala.

– Capangala não responde. Zzzzzzz. Tique.

 

Diante da falta de resposta, seu companheiro deduz que os outros combatentes portugueses “ou estão mortos todos ou cavaram para longe” (GC 210), expressando um sentimento de abandono que transforma os soldados em verdadeiros exilados, além de tornar ainda mais doloroso e anti-heroico o morrer pela pátria. Esse início, entrecortado por reticências, interrogações, números e ruídos no lugar de palavras, já contém muitos dos recursos retóricos que seriam empregados no conto. Além disso, introduz o tema da espera, que, no nível temático, constitui um importante ponto de contato com o teatro de Samuel Beckett, um dos mestres do Absurdo.

Aliás, por suas características dramáticas, “Capangala não responde” poderia até ser encenado no teatro ou no cinema. Estrutura-se em diálogos tensos nos quais o tom violento se alterna com momentos de nostalgia, indignação, medo ou perplexidade, deixando transparecer, da parte do autor, uma aguda consciência do absurdo da condição humana. Os adereços cênicos se restringem a um telefone de campanha, pistolas-metralhadoras, cunhetes de munição, sacos de granadas e mochilas. E o cenário – um “mar de capim ralo” que veio substituir o mar dos descobrimentos cantado por poetas – reflete a devastação da guerra, o desenraizamento e o total isolamento dos soldados portugueses que lutavam longe da sua terra:

 

Percorreu com os olhos o campo que, para além da aberta em que estavam, era um mar de capim ralo que lhe chegava ao peito. Uma, duas árvores negras sem folhas.  Os cocurutos dispersos como sentinelas, e amarelados, dos formigueiros. (GC 201-2)

 

Os personagens atendem por números ao invés de nomes, o que talvez fosse uma prática comum na caserna, mas nesse texto passa a sugerir também a reificação do homem moderno, tal como ocorre em Waiting for Godot, de Samuel Beckett2, em que Vladimir e Estragon têm seus nomes reduzidos para Didi e Gogo. Em sentido mais restrito, o uso de números ao invés de nomes também aponta para a despersonalização daqueles combatentes que por diferentes motivos, na verdade pouco ou nada patrióticos, se encontravam numa guerra que não reconheciam como sua. “Meteram-nos numa boa alhada”, percebeu por fim o soldado 401. Poderíamos, por isso mesmo, considerá-los como representação metonímica de muitos outros soldados portugueses que lutaram na guerra colonial em Angola, ou mesmo – e percebe-se aí uma dimensão universal do conto de Jorge de Sena – como representação de muitos soldados de qualquer país que lutam ou lutaram em outras guerras.

De fato, o personagem chamado de 54, identificado como ex-informante, se alistara sem outro objetivo que o de satisfazer seus próprios interesses, inclusive escapar à desconfiança de que se sentia vítima em Portugal: “Não trabalhar. Trabalhar, para quê?” (GC 204). Tal alienação não poderia deixar de contaminar o seu discurso:

 

–   Quando eu tinha estado na tropa, não precisava de pensar no que havia de fazer no dia seguinte. A gente, com arte, safa-se, e a cama e mesa não prestam, mas não faltam. (GC 205)

 

O 401, operário com “rosto de menino imberbe”, fora convocado contra sua vontade: “Eu nem sabia que África existia, nunca lia jornais. Ia casar-me” (GC 205). Somente o 37 acreditava no que chamava de “esforço de guerra”, reproduzindo o discurso vazio das autoridades.

O enredo, quase inexistente, apresenta personagens incapazes de agir e que precisam passar o tempo conversando enquanto esperam o inimigo. Nessa situação de paralisia e impotência, sua única certeza era a de que seriam castrados e mortos, culminando com a terrível constatação do soldado 401: “Estamos isolados. Ninguém responde. Acabou-se” (GC 207). Ouvimos aí os ecos das primeiras palavras de Waiting for Godot: “Nothing to be done“. Constatação semelhante seria ainda feita alguns anos mais tarde pelo narrador de Os Cus de Judas, de António Lobo Antunes, com relação ao absurdo da guerra em Angola: ”… descobri-me personagem de Beckett aguardando a granada de morteiro de um Godot redentor”3. Tal como na peça de Beckett e no romance de Lobo Antunes, a espera e a morte eram as únicas alternativas no mundo absurdo em que haviam caído os personagens de Jorge de Sena.

Mais forte que o medo da morte, porém, era a vergonha da castração, que nos remete à epígrafe do conto, uma citação da Teogonia de Hesíodo:

 

A excisa virilidade de Urano caiu no mar inquieto, aonde, da terra firme, Cronos a lançara. E por muito tempo vogou desencontrada. (GC 199)

 

Em “Capangala não responde”, a certeza da castração sugere um destino bem diferente daquele que fora prometido aos antigos heróis portugueses, protegidos de Vênus, no momento em que, ao se unirem às ninfas na Ilha dos Amores, se transformariam em semideuses e iniciariam uma nova raça de heróis. Mas a raça de anti-heróis de Sena sabia-se condenada à infecundidade.

O esvaziamento do discurso atinge o ponto máximo com sua tematização, quando os soldados propõem outros sentidos para palavras que representavam valores portugueses fundamentais: pátria, por exemplo, perde o seu sentido tradicional ao ser substituída por um gesto obsceno, quando o soldado 54 diz ao companheiro 37: “Sabes aonde está a nossa pátria? A pátria está onde está isto – e agarrou com a mão o sexo” (GC 211). A expressão esforço de guerra (um possível equivalente de heroísmo) passa a significar outro tipo de esforço, agora desnecessário, pois “Quando os pretos aparecerem, borra-se logo pelas pernas abaixo” (GC 210). Por fim, o significado da palavra honra também é subvertido por linguagem chula, já que morrer naquelas circunstâncias, ainda que ”com honra”, conforme a ilusão do soldado 37, não teria o menor cabimento. “Qual honra? A tua? A minha? Aqui a do 401? A dos teus patrões? Quem é que se rala com isso?”. Antes mesmo da publicação de “Capangala não responde”, Sena já propunha, no poema “Carta a meus filhos sobre os fuzilamentos de Goya”4, um sentido de honra que valeria mais do que todos os outros: a “honra de estar vivo”. E acrescentava: “Acreditai que nenhum mundo, que nada nem ninguém / vale mais que uma vida ou a alegria de tê-la”.

No desfecho do conto, porém, a morte prevalece. O 54 se volta contra o 37, aquele que repetia, sem questionar, o discurso vazio dos detentores do poder, inclusive o poder de falar ou calar. Mata-o  justamente por lhe haver “roubado” as palavras: “Então ninguém havia de pagar-mas? Eu nunca acreditei nessas coisas… mas ele julgava que eram só dele?” (GC 212). Ao perceber a chegada do inimigo, mata também o 401, poupando-o da castração, movido talvez por misericórdia ou mesmo por gratidão, pois o companheiro o havia perdoado pelo mal que fizera como informante. Ironicamente, esse personagem que mata os companheiros representa um novo tipo de herói, justiceiro e redentor, pois é aquele que tenta resgatar as palavras roubadas e defender a virilidade ameaçada de perder o seu sentido de força fundadora.

Segundo afirma Jorge de Sena no Prefácio de 1974, os contos de Os Grãos-Capitãesdevem ser lidos “como crónica amarga e violenta dessa era de decomposição do mundo ocidental e desse tempo de uma tirania que castrava Portugal” (GC 14). Antiépicos, portanto, não poderiam ser escritos com a riqueza da linguagem d’Os Lusíadas, pois é na denúncia feita por meio do empobrecimento do discurso que a amargura e a violência se tornam mais eloquentes em “Capangala não responde” e em outros contos do mesmo livro.

Os tempos são outros, e a vida já não é inefável na Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa. Porém, mesmo numa época em que o silêncio se impunha, a nossa língua manteve todo o seu vigor na escrita fecunda de Jorge de Sena.

 

NOTAS

*   SENA, Jorge de. “Os Paraísos Artificiais”, vv. 13-15. In: — Pedra Filosofal (Poesia I). Lisboa: Ed. 70, 1986, p. 131

1.       ——. “Capangala não responde”. In: — Os Grãos Capitães (Contos). Lisboa: Ed. 70, 1982. Doravante citado no texto como GC seguido do número da página.

2.       BECKETT, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. New York: Grove Press, 1982.

3.       ANTUNES, António Lobo. Os Cus de Judas. Rio de Janeiro: Marco Zero, 1984, p. 45.

4.       SENA, Jorge de.  “Carta a meus filhos sobre os fuzilamentos de Goya”. In: —Metamorfoses (Poesia II). Lisboa: Ed. 70, 1988.

 

[*] Versão revista e ampliada do texto com o mesmo título publicado em  Gilda Santos, org. Boletim do SEPESP (Seminário Permanente de Estudos Portugueses), Rio de Janeiro, Fac. Letras UFRJ, set. 1995, p. 167-172.

[**] Ensaísta e tradutora, Doutora em Letras pela UFRJ. Dissertação de Mestrado sobre Jorge de Sena.

 

 

THE VIOLENT MAINTENANCE OF THE PORTUGUESE COLONIAL IDENTITY AND THE SEARCH FOR A POSTCOLONIAL ONE: LITERARY IMAGES OF PORTUGAL AS A COLONIAL AND POSTCOLONIAL NATION*

Anthony Soares**

 

The overarching purpose of this article is to consider the development of Portuguese national identity from a post­colonial perspective as it is portrayed in three literary works written in distinct periods of the country’s history: Luís de Camões’s Os Lusíadas (1572), Jorge de Sena’s Os Grão-Capitães (1976), and José Saramago’s A Jangada de Pedra(1986). One of the elements connecting these disparate texts is the violent undercurrent—whether actual or epistemic— that underpins the construction of Portugal’s national identity: an imperial identity in Camões’s epic poem, the maintenance of that imperial identity in Sena’s collection of short stories, and the questioning of its postcolonial after­math within a European context in Saramago’s novel. The texts written in the twentieth century can also be read as modern reworkings of the voyage of discovery narrated in Camões’s sixteenth-century poem, questioning those occasions where it is uncritically promoted, and where “The Lusiads is repeatedly presented in terms of praising the spirit of adventure, renewing knowledge of the seas and territories, attempting conquest and command of other people, and imposing Christianity as the true religion” (Seixo 306).[1]

This is not to say that Os Lusíadas has been wrongly interpreted as a text that praises these elements of imperial expansion. Its very nature as epic demands a positive portrayal of them. Helder Macedo makes clear the different and competing purposes of the epic and pastoral, as “from the viewpoint of the pastoral, associated with the myth of the Golden Age, the very subject matter of epic celebration— voyages and quests, wars and conquests—reveals the degeneration and decadence that characterizes the Iron Age,” adding that “the epic celebrates what the pastoral regrets” (1990, 32). Elsewhere, Macedo highlights the often conflict­ing critical reception of Camões’s work, stating that “the poetry of Camões has lent itself to the most contradictory and even conceptually irreconcilable interpretations,” offer­ing as examples “Petrarchism and anti-Petrarchism in the lyric poetry; imperialism and anti-imperialism in Os Lusíadas” (2003, 63). The existence of contradictory read­ings of Camões’s work, and Os Lusíadas in particular, constitutes for some critics evidence of a lack of objectivity and a preoccupation with contemporary issues that distorts the realities of sixteenth-century Portugal. Thus Martim de Albuquerque criticises those who seek “conclusões justifi­cativas dos posicionamentos ideológicos, das preferências ou visões políticas” in their analysis of Camões, which lead to “interpretações dirigidas e à rebours, sem outra vantagem que desvirtuar o pensamento de Camões e acentuar o obscurecimento e incompreensão do passado” (9). Albuqer­que himself claims to adopt an approach in his analysis of Camões that, in his own words, “norteou-se por estritos critérios de índole científica, incompatíveis com interesses ideológicos, concessões de montra e livraria ou desejos de glória fácil” (9).

Notwithstanding Albuquerque’s admonishments, the read­ing undertaken in this article ofOs Lusíadas, and of the works by Jorge de Sena and José Saramago, will be undertaken with precisely the type of ideological positioning that he warns against. In this case, Camões’s epic poem will be read as the cultural product of a distinct historical context and a poetic illustration of Portugal’s progress in the con­struction of an empire. It will serve to show how Portugal’s encounters with other peoples were resolved.[2] It is a reading that, whilst not laying the blame at the feet of a poet that Jorge de Sena described as “um homem de tanto amor” (1982, 26), will focus on the presence of violence as a material effect of Portugal’s imperial project.[3] My reading seeks to supplement views of Os Lusíadas that see the poem as either an example of imperialist or amorous discourse, and to anchor the text in material conditions that are revisited in Os Grão-Capitães and A Jangada de Pedra.[4] In other words, my intention is to link the discursive elements of Os Lusíadas to the violent manifestations of Portuguese imperial expansion that inspired their author, as well as the changing scope of the aggression that is seen to underpin Portugal’s subsequent identitary positions, thereby working against what Benita Parry describes as the “abandonment of historical and social explanation” within postcolonial studies, where “‘discursive violence’ took precedence over the practices of a violent system” (4).

Thus, from a postcolonial perspective, the “grand resound­ing fury of the trumpet of war” (Macedo, 1990, 32) within Os Lusíadas should not be seen simply as a rhetorical device that attests to the uncontested supremacy of Western imperialism (Alves 97) to be analysed at a purely discursive level, but as a lyrical interpretation of the events that made up Vasco da Gama’s first voyage to India. When Camões writes of the reaction of the Portuguese navigator to an attempted ambush on the Island of Mozambique, the result is an interpretation of a supremely violent act of punishment by a representative of Portugal’s expansionist spirit. After the “furiosa e dura artelharia” (I:89, 2) of Gama’s fleet has defeated those who had wished to destroy him and his crew, Os Lusíadas describes how the Portuguese are not satisfied, “Mas, seguindo a vitória, estrui e mata; / A povoação sem muro e sem defesa / Esbombardeia, acende e desbarata” (I:90, 2-4). The description of such an attack on the defenceless inhabitants of the land to which the Portuguese are newcomers arises from what Phyllis Peres has termed “the most resilient articulation of the master narration of the nation circa the age of discoveries,” a “discourse of collectivity [which] glorified the divinely chosen Portuguese race, as well as the violence of Counter Reformation empire-building” (191). The violence meted out by the heroic Gama’s fleet at the discursive level of Os Lusíadas echoes real events, which Joaquim Romero Magalhães determines to have been “utilização da artilharia que foi um mau começo” (9), since the Portuguese use of weaponry betrays “ignorância do meio mercantil a que chegavam, de graves consequências” (9).[5] Ignorance of others’ cultures and cus­toms seems to accompany the imperialist spirit, so that “a guerra que os Portugueses levam a cabo é guerra justa e santa” (Albuquerque 153), making the use of violent means to achieve expansionist ends all the easier.[6]

In his short story, “Capangala não responde,” Jorge de Sena revisits the continent which was subjected to vengeful violence by Vasco da Gama, and portrayed by Camões in Os Lusíadas. The depiction of the Portuguese as heroic Argo­nauts led by the fearless Gama in the epic poem is replaced in Sena’s narrative by three soldiers simply known by their numbers (37, 401 and 54), who have seemingly been abandoned somewhere in the Angolan bush during the wars of independence to await what they foresee as a terrible fate. They become three navigators lost in a sea of African grass that hides a faceless enemy, and as the end approaches the reader becomes aware that these men have been sent to a foreign land they know little about in order to fight for a nation of which their knowledge is also somewhat faulty. The aggressive nature of their presence is brought to our attention as the narrator tells us that “Ao lado do 401, estavam pousadas as pistolas-metralhadoras, os cunhetes de munição, os sacos de granadas, as mochilas” (1989, 201). These weapons are to be turned against the enemies of colonial Portugal, described by the men in this narrative as “essa negralhada” (202) and “esta pretalhada” (207), terms that rob the native Angolans of any individuality, allowing them to be more easily demonised.

However, if Sena’s protagonists are engaged in ensuring that Angola is kept as a colonial possession of Portugal, soldier 401 makes it clear that, not only do he and his colleagues have no knowledge of the individuals they are fighting, he has little idea of the nature of the territory they are at war for, confessing “eu nem sabia que a África existia, nunca lia jornais” (205). This lack of knowledge extends to the soldiers’ own country, as their conversations reveal that they are not generally aware of the lives led by their fellow Portuguese citizens. As soldier 54 almost shamefacedly speaks about the dreams he entertained before coming to Angola, 401, to the amazement of soldier 54, reveals that he dreamt of the same things. Yet, throughout Os Grão-Capi­tães the reader is made aware that the ignorance displayed of Portugal and the wider world by various characters is due to a repressive regime, which is not only determined to hold on to its imperial identity, but also wants to colonise the minds of the Portuguese people with the only acceptable version of what the nation represents. In this enterprise, “the Salazar dictatorship used and abused the nation’s historical mytho­logy, especially its colonizing and missionary aspects, to justify its politics in Africa and eventually enlist support for a bloody colonial war” (Kaufman and Ornelas 146). Jorge de Sena makes clear that any dissent from the official view of Portugal will be punished through an underlying sense of the threat of possible violence that can become a reality, such as the quashing by the regime of a naval revolt, recalled by the ship’s captain in “A Grã-Canária.”7 Indeed, in a letter to Vergílio Ferreira in which he writes of Os Grão-Capitães, Sena states that “a violência escatológica do livro e a agressividade dele […] tornam-no absolutamente impubli­cável em Portugal” (Sena, 1987, 123).

Despite all their modern weaponry, and the insistence of official discourse that theirs is a noble endeavour, assured of success, the soldiers in “Capangala não responde” are certain that, far from meting out punishment to the rebellious na­tives, it is they who will come to a violent end at the hands of their enemies: “Vamos morrer aqui. Se a gente se separa, matam-nos. Se nos agarram juntos, matam-nos. Essa negra­lhada toda a esfaquear-nos” (202). The end that they foresee for themselves includes their own castration, the ultimate loss of virility, which Beatriz de Mendonça Lima contrasts with the erotic imagery of Camões’s Os Lusíadas, stating that, “em ‘Capangala não responde,’ a certeza da castração sugere um destino bem diferente daquele que fora prometido aos antigos heróis portugueses, protegidos de Vênus, que, ao se unirem às ninfas na Ilha dos Amores, se transformariam em semideuses e iniciariam uma nova raça de heróis,” adding that “a raça de anti-heróis de Sena sabia-se conde­nada à infecundidade” (170).[8] The nature of the repression these men have endured in Portugal has already brutalised them, robbing them of any morality or dignity in what they have been sent to do in Africa, so that 54 describes 401 as having shot three native Angolans “como se fossem bonecos de pimpampum” (212). By shooting people in the back— reminiscent of the destruction of the defenceless village in Canto I of Os Lusíadas—401 makes clear that there is no heroism in what he and his colleagues are doing, and he also emphasises how his perceived enemies have been dehumanised.

The arsenal of weaponry which Sena’s protagonists use is evidence of the relative technological sophistication of the Portuguese colonial war machine, a factor that is also present in Os Lusíadas, where the power of Gama’s fleet is frequent­ly highlighted. The potential violence represented by the “Pelouros, espingardas de aço puras, / Arcos e sagitíferas aljavas” (I:67, 6-7) is denotative of the deficiencies of Portugal’s imperial project, which is characterised by re­lative ignorance of the “other” encountered by the colonizing subject.[9] This makes it, in Eduardo Lourenço’s terms, a precarious project, “precário mas ainda vivo para realizar lá longe com outros potentados mais ricos do que nós, mas sem armas tão modernas como então eram as nossas” (117).[10] Thus, the firepower of the Portuguese—“a gente belicosa” (I:42, 3)—is used to devastating effect against those who “por armas têm adagas e tarçados” (I:47, 6), obstacles to the imposition of Portugal’s dominion in the maritime trade of the Indian Ocean whose destruction is morally justified according to the criteria of the imperial nation. As Sena’s soldiers in “Capangala não responde” will vainly attempt to deny their enemies’ individual capacity to act by referring to them as a indistinguishable “pretalhada,” so too Camões’s navigators in Os Lusíadas dismiss many of those they encounter by labelling them as: “os que na errada Seita creram” (I:57, l 7); “o Mouro astuto” (I:62, 5); “o falso Mouro” (I:72, 2); “Selvagem mais que o bruto Polifemo” (V:28, 4); and “gente bestial, bruta e malvada” (V:34, 4).[11]

In Os Lusíadas, the discursive violence that destroys the identities of native peoples paves the way for the physical violence that will create the space—both ideological and physical—for Portugal’s imperial identity, and these same impulses are present in Sena’s collection of short stories. However, in Os Grão-Capitães the violence is directed at maintaining the idea of an imperial destiny that is presented as an intrinsic element of Portugal’s identity (and repre­sented as such in Os Lusíadas) against those who would seek to fracture the Greater Portugal, whether they look to do so from the metropolitan centre or from the colonies. In Sena’s narratives, the protagonists are moving within a period of dictatorial control where “the constructions of Portuguese ‘identity’ which accrued to themselves an unquestioned hegemonic status were those which emphasized a national ‘specificity,’ a specific national difference,” which “finds its most cogent expression in the myth that the Portuguese sense of nationhood is (paradoxically) grounded on a temporally confined spatial displacement: the ‘voyages of discovery’” (Madureira 17). In Sena’s Os Grão-Capitães, the unresolved tension that is created by the propagation of the myth of Portuguese national identity based on imperial conquest, and the reality encountered by its metropolitan citizens in Por­tugal and the Ultramar, results in sterile violent acts and the fear that a non-conformist identity expressed in terms of a “deviant” sexuality might be discovered.

Thus, in “Choro de Criança,” a man caught engaging in a homosexual act by the main protagonist fears that the latter is an informant for Salazar’s secret police, and that the performative act that identifies his sexuality will now lead to punishment by the authorities. Similarly, in “A Grã-Canária” one sailor—suspected of being an informant—is sexually assaulted by another member of the crew as punishment for accusing him of being a communist and homosexual. This violence turned inwards, upon those who supposedly share a common identity, is part of the “violência escatológica” of Os Grão-Capitães, which Sena says he portrays through “exército, marinha, clero, guerra de Espanha, guerra de Angola, família, prostitutas e pederastas, literatos, etc.” (1987, 123). When Sena’s narratives conjoin violence with sexual activity, they become evidence of the frustration that the imposition of a colonizing identity provokes which, as it cannot be directed against the regime that promotes that identity, seeks relief through internalised acts.[12] Such acts represent the fracturing of an identity whose construction is portrayed in Os Lusíadas as being undertaken by a united band of Portuguese heroes, in stark contrast to the three soldiers in “Capangala não responde,” for example, who spend much of their time verbally and physically abusing one another, so that two of them are killed at the hands of their own comrade-in-arms.

Violence is also present in José Saramago’s Jangada de Pedra, through forms that are not always as evident as in Os Lusíadas or Os Grão-Capitães. Helena Kaufman and José Ornelas use a language expressive of violent opposition, as they describe how “inJangada, through a narrative placed in a hypothetical future, Saramago battles against the impo­sition of a fixed and closed meaning by any future official representation of the period” (162-63). Indeed, the characters in Saramago’s novel are once again taking on the loaded role of navigators, searching for national identities that can adequately encompass the rapidly changing realities brought about by the physical separation of the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe.[13] As the peninsula wrenches itself away, the violence and power of this extraordinary assault on the stability of national identities is evident, as through “toda a cordilheira pirenaica estalavam os granitos, multipli­cavam-se as fendas” (Saramago 33), and this event sets in motion a multitude of journeys: that of the Iberian Peninsula itself, reincarnation in stone of the caravels of earlier centuries; those of the main protagonists who set off on a voyage of discovery through Portugal and Spain to gain an understanding of how they might have caused this conti­nental breach; and of whole populations, either fleeing from areas that are deemed to be at risk, or drawn to those same areas out of curiosity.

These multiple journeys represent multiple questionings that repeatedly encounter vestiges of the past, making A Jangada de Pedra a novel that does not necessarily mark a radical departure from Saramago’s previous work since, although it does not focus on a particular historical event (as in História do Cerco de Lisboa or Memorial do Convento), it nevertheless examines the importance of the past in the development of identities, and challenges “a noção de o passado poder consistir apenas nas versões oficiais e canonizadas que todos conhecemos” (Sapega, 1995, 35). In its evocations of history from a fictional present that places Portugal in a postcolonial temporality, A Jangada de Pedrais not simply a product of a period in the country’s literary history especially concerned with “the silenced years of the Salazar regime and the so-called remote past, the source of national myths and symbols,” or “the African experience and colonial war” (Kaufman and Klobucka, 19). Although the 1980s and 1990s were decades when Portuguese writers— Saramago among them—were exploring such topics to a degree that may not have been the case previously, Jorge de Sena’s Os Grão-Capitães and Camões’s Os Lusíadasare nevertheless earlier works that concern themselves with the nation’s history and its encounter with other peoples.[14] Indeed, a considerable proportion of Os Lusíadas is given over to a (re)presentation of Portuguese history in which, as António José Saraiva remarks, “a história de Portugal […] reduz-se, excepto na parte a que se refere às viagens marítimas, a uma sequência de feitos militares” (139). What separates A Jangada de Pedra from Os Lusíadas and Os Grão-Capitães is that Saramago’s novel examines that past from a perspective in which Portugal no longer maintains the imperial identity that was present, to a greater or lesser extent, in the earlier works.

Nevertheless, the fictional postcolonial present of A Jangada de Pedra is repeatedly related to a colonizing and expansionist past, no more so than in the setting sail into the Atlantic of Portugal and Spain, an act that relaunches the debate surrounding Portuguese integration into a European identity or one that is turned towards other horizons. The novel’s inconclusive end leaves the Iberian Peninsula floating in the Atlantic Ocean, halfway between the Am­ericas and Africa, continents that experienced the expression of Spain and Portugal’s imperialist designs, and whose violence is recalled by the narrator:

 

também foi destas terras do sul que partiram os homens a descobrir o outro mundo, e também eles, duros, ferozes, suando como cavalos, avançavam de couraças de ferro, na cabeça elmos de ferro, espadas de ferro na mão, contra a nudez dos índios, só vestidos de penas de aves e aguarelas, idílica imagem (85).[15]

This memory of the conquest of South America, although in a different geographical setting, is familiar from Os Lusíadas in the clear imbalance between the military might of the colonizers and that of those to be colonized, an imbalance that is present once again in Sena’s “A Grã-Canária,” where Franco’s forces crush civilian opposition in Las Palmas, and is beginning to be contested “Capangala não responde.” But whereas the soldiers in the latter narrative have been sent to maintain a colonizing identity established by the generation of Vasco da Gama, in Saramago’s novel the maritime wanderings of the Iberian Peninsula can be seen as a literary representation of the possible destinies of future identitary positions.

For Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Portugal’s membership of the EEC (now the European Union) and its economic and political relations with former African colonies can be seen as “the reconstruction, in new terms, of the colonial, intermediary, transmission-belt role: Portugal acting as an intermediary between the core and the periphery” (67). This could be the role suggested by the Iberian Peninsula’s mid-Atlantic positioning at the end ofJangada de Pedra, and its evocations of Portugal’s expansionist past also correlates with Sousa Santos’s view that this role “unites the colonial to the postcolonial period and it is an important ingredient of the autonomy of the state in the context of the integration into the EEC” (67). But that integration is a contested topic in A Jangada de Pedra, a novel where a minor character, Roque Lozano, on being told that he may no longer be able to see the rest of Europe replies, “Se eu a não vir, é porque ela nunca existiu” (71). For this Spaniard the project of European structural integration has had no perceptible impact on his life, hence the lack of a concrete Europe is of no great concern. Moreover, just as one of the soldiers in Sena’s “Capangala não responde” confesses to knowing nothing of Africa, despite the fact that he has been sent there to keep part of it for Portugal, so too in Saramago’s narrative we are told that “muita era a gente que de terras só conhecia aquela em que nascera” (140).

Likewise, for Europe—or the nations that make up the entity known as Europe—the disappearance of Portugal and Spain can be regarded as more of a relief than a threat, as “para certos europeus, verem-se livres dos incompreensíveis povos ocidentais, agora em navegação desmastreada pelo mar oceano, donde nunca deveriam ter vindo, foi, só por si, uma benfeitoria” (162). However, others see the Iberian nations as essential to their European identity, and so “milhões de jovens em todo o continente saíram à mesma hora para a rua, armados não de razões mas de bastões, de correntes de bicicleta, de croques, de facas, de sovelas, de tesouras” (165). But, in a repetition of the imbalance of weaponry seen in Os Lusíadas and “Capangala não responde,” these dissenting voices are met with “Gases lacrimogéneos, carros de água, bastões, escudos e viseiras” (166), thereby suppressing the expression of a discourse that is seen as divergent from attempts to construct a unified European identity—the “quinta-essência do espírito europeu, sublimado perfeito simples, a Europa, isto é, a Suiça” (162).

However, A Jangada de Pedra does not construct a simplistic opposition between centralising attempts to im­pose a European identity and “any particular image or idea of Portuguese or Iberian identity” (Lough 162). What Saramago achieves in this novel is the highlighting of the ever-changing nature of identities, bringing to the reader’s attention the repeated recourse to violence when attempts are made to impose a homogeneous identity, whether it be supra-national or national. The narrator often reminds us that the creation of the Portuguese nation was achieved through the use of violence, and that geographical limits, whose relative impermanence is also underlined, are almost always achieved through warfare and conquest. Even as the poor of Portugal head for the Algarve to occupy the hotels that have been abandoned by the tourists and the rich, reaching the point where “às portas de Albufeira preparava-se a batalha campal” (101), Saramago’s descriptions of the ensuing con­flict between the security forces and the “invaders” echo Portugal’s past battles against the Moors during the Christian reconquest of the peninsula, as well as those against the Spanish: “Teve o combate um preâmbulo oratório, tal como se usava dantes, na antiguidade das guerras, com desafios, exortações às tropas, preces à Virgem ou a Santiago” (101). In this conflict among the hotels of one of Portugal’s prime tourist resorts we are presented with internal invaders described as “intrépidos” (98), inheritors of the spirit of Portugal’s great navigators but, whereas the latter were engaged in an outward expansion, the former are busy reconfiguring Portugal itself under a new set of extra­ordinary circumstances.

Whilst these battles take place, and as the Iberian Peninsula drifts into the Atlantic, the nations that determine the global political landscape wrangle over how best to accommodate these nomadic nations into their view of the world:

 

De um ponto de vista de política prática, o problema que se discutia nas chancelarias europeias e americanas era o das zonas de influência, isto é, se, apesar da distância, a península ou ilha, deveria conservar os seus laços naturais com a Europa, ou se, não os cortando completamente, deveria orientar-se, de preferência, para os desígnios e destino da grande nação norte-americana. Ainda que sem esperanças de influir decisivamente na questão, a União Soviética lembrava e tornava a lembrar que nada poderia ser resolvido sem a sua participação nas discussões, e entretanto reforçou a esquadra que desde o princípio viera acompanhando a errante viagem, à vista, claro está, das esquadras das outras potências, a norte-americana, a britânica, a francesa (298-99).

 

These considerations over the future identities of Portugal and Spain bring to the fore the contrast that exists between the situation of the Portuguese in Saramago’s novel, and those found in Os Lusíadas and Os Grão-Capitães: in A Jangada de Pedra others are now determined to shape the world into a form that best suits them, whereas in Camões’s and Sena’s works the Portuguese were the ones who forcibly imposed their view of the globe. However, whereas in Os Lusíadas there is a shared vision of what the voyages of discovery and the construction of Portugal’s empire signify, in Sena’s short stories this is no longer the case, as the Salazar regime has oppressed its people to such an extent that what they do has lost all meaning and gives rise to the brutalisation of those who refuse to bear the colonial yoke any longer. Finally, in A Jangada de Pedra, the greatest threat of violence comes from those nations and international organisations that are determined to repeat the mistakes Portugal had committed during its time as a colonizing nation: to enforce adherence and obeisance to a single encompassing identity. The Portuguese and Spanish are now the ones to refuse (even if it is accidentally) the forced colonisation of their own identities, and they are left to rediscover their place outside a centralising discourse.

 

Notes:

1. Jorge de Sena, a dedicated scholar of Camões, repeatedly demonstrated his concern at the uses made of the poet and his work declaring, for example, that “era urgente e oportuno autenticar a grandeza de Camões, uma grandeza por demais acriticamente adivinhada, literariamente concedida, e politicamente utilizada” (1980a, 30), and that “Camões não tem também culpa de ter sido transformado em símbolo dos orgulhos nacionais, em diversos momentos da nossa história em que esse orgulho se viu deprimido e abatido” (1980b, 257).

2. Inevitably, this will involve a subjective interpretation of the historical period in which the text was written but, as Helder Macedo has recognised, in Os Lusíadas Camões suggests “that there is no history as such; there is only meaning that can be given to history.” And in a meta­historic awareness that it shares with the works of Jorge de Sena and José Saramago analysed later, Camões’s epic poem realises that “this meaning … depends on the reception of the text” (Macedo, 2003, 73).

3. For Sena Os Lusíadas represents “uma mensagem de nobreza, dignidade, tolerância, justiça e liberdade” (1982, 26), and in his exhaustive semantic study of the poem he notes that “numa epopeia em que tanto se trata de combates e de perigos, os verbos matar e morrer desempenhem tão pequeno papel” (1982, 38).

4. For an interesting discussion of what he terms as “conservative” and “liberal” interpretations of Os Lusíadas, see Hélio Alves’s “Post-imperial Bacchus,” where he calls for “a new look at the epic text’s ideology” (101). Balachandra Rajan also points out that “doubts about the imperial mission are expressed in The Lusiads but they are marginalized in relation to a triumphalist core,” and that “attempts have been made to move them closer to the centre and indeed revisionary readings of The Lusiads are heavily dedicated to such attempts.” However, in Rajan’s view, such attempts “skew the poem immoderately” (181).

5. As well as Magalhães’s analysis of the historical context from which Camões gathered material for his epic poem, Sanjay Subrahmanyam’s The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama offers a detailed account of the figure that inspired the hero of Os Lusíadas, recounting—as Magalhães does—the three voyages the admiral makes to the East. António José Saraiva also comments on Camões’s own ignorance of the inhabitants of the eastern reaches of Portugal’s growing empire, stating that “o Poeta nunca sai da sua própria atmosfera, é impermeável à penetração civilizacional do Oriente: assim como partiu, assim voltou a Lisboa, com a memória recheada de clássicos e algumas observações e curiosidades mais, a juntar ao repositório de casos que aprendera nos seus autores” (133).

6. See David Quint’s essay, “Voices of Resistance: The Epic Curse and Camões’s Adamastor,” where he discusses the limits imposed upon resistance to the Portuguese within Os Lusíadas and the effacement of the African “Other.” Quint explains how “in Adamastor the human identity of the Africans has begun to disappear as they are merged with the storms of the cape,” in such a way that “the continuing resistance of these peoples turns into a cyclical repetition that seems to be a version of nature’s repeated regenerative cycles, but one that has been unnaturally thwarted and become demonic” (262).

7. Curiosity is also discouraged, which perpetuates the state of ignorance. In “Os Salteadores,” for instance, one of the characters proudly recounts the capture by a friend of some Spaniards wanted by Franco’s regime, and he mentions that there was no opportunity to speak to the captives: “Ninguém podia falar com eles, os ‘secretas’ não deixavam chegar-se” (162). Those who possess knowledge that is considered dangerous are left in no doubt as to their fates if they speak of what they know. This is the case of the man who witnessed the execution of the Spaniards by their guards as they were urinating at the side of the road, as he is threatened with the same violent death by the Portuguese secret police: “Sentaram-se ao lado do inspector que, sem falar comigo, guiou a camioneta até à minha porta. Aí, apeou-se e disse-me, ‘Fica sabendo que não viste nada. Vê lá se queres que te ponham a mijar.’ E foi-se embora” (167).

8. The topos of emasculation or castration can also be used to represent the disempowerment of the colonized. Mark Sabine comments on how “[Luís Bernardo] Honwana depicts colonial rule as the literal emasculation of Africa” (24).

9. Those deficiencies can be apparent to the colonized, as Sabine indicates in the case of Honwana’s short story, “Papá, Cobra e Eu,” where “Honwana alludes metaphorically to the colonizer’s use of brutality to disguise his inadequacy with the primacy amongst the black local dogs of Totó, who disguises his diminished stature by puffing up his significantly white fur and assuming um ‘aspecto terrífico.’ Like Totó, Honwana’s colonial masters disguise their weakness with displays of aggression, and through pre-emptive, destructive violence” (33).

10. For a critique of Eduardo Lourenço’s views on Portuguese national identity, see Ellen Sapega’s article, “No Longer Alone and Proud” (1997), Phyllis Peres’s “Love and Imagination among the Ruins of Empire” (1997), and Luís Madureira’s “The Discreet Seductiveness of the Crumbling Empire” (1995).

11. In terms of the religious opposition that these terms bring to the fore, Sena’s own analysis of the epic poem in his Estudos sobre o vocabulário de Os Lusíadas, which underlines the humanist nature of Camões, whilst referring to his view of the poet’s tolerant nature, particularly in relation to Jews, makes the following note: “Se Camões ignora, forçado por séculos de propaganda, a tolerância do Profeta e dos muçulmanos (quase pode dizer-se que a intolerância foi sempre uma invenção cristã que acabou envenando as religiões tolerantes que os cristãos perseguiam), não ignora a sua simpatia para com os judeus” (1982, 347). In this way Sena attempts to provide a context for the anti-Muslim sentiments expressed in Os Lusíadas, simultaneously highlighting Camões’s own liberal tendencies. For Martim de Albuquerque, however, “ e Império são duas noções intimamente enlaçadas no pensamento do Poeta. Camões viveu um forte ideal religioso, no âmbito da cristandade, e a sua visão imperial não pode ser questionada” (152). Also, see David Quint’s “Voices of Resistance,” which draws on the reference to Polyphemus (257-58).

12. Luís Madureira points to this phenomenon in António Lobo Antunes’s Os Cus de Judas where, in the midst of the Portuguese regime’s struggle against independence movements, “sexual frustration is prevalent, and masturbation (the sexual equivalent of self-referentiality) becomes conflated with the military action itself […]. But the tenor of the title’s metaphor entails, in this sense, the substitution of the tropical ‘gaps’ in a cathectic geography of empire with solar anuses, epitomizing the sterility and emasculation which underpinned Portuguese colonialism (the substitution of an image of colonialism as impregnation with that of colonialism as ‘sodomy’)” (25).

13. The comparison to the navigators of the time of Os Lusíadas is made clear in A Jangada de Pedra on various occasions, such as in the description: “tinham sido como antigos e inocentes navegantes, no mar estamos, o mar nos leva, para onde nos levará o mar” (144). However, Francis Lough warns against overemphasising comparisons with Os Lusíadas, as “echoes of Camões in the novel have to be taken in the context of the multitude of literary and cultural references scattered throughout the text” (155). With the totality of Saramago’s fictional work in mind, Helena Kaufman also states that “a conquista marítima ou a criação do império estão presentes nos textos de Saramago como importantes pontos de referência mas não dominam a sua visão da História: antes entram em diálogo com os outros fragmentos do passado que se procura recuperar” (135).

14. In the case of Jorge de Sena, Orlando Nunes de Amorim points to the relationship established by the author between literary creation and history, declaring that “a História sempre esteve entre as grandes preocupações do autor das (tão históricas!) Metamorfoses, e uma observação, por mais simples que seja, das suas obras de ficção revela que diferentes formas de relação entre Literatura e História aparecem em várias delas” (215-16). For other views on Saramago’s interrogation of history, see Teresa Cristina Cerdeira da Silva’s José Saramago, Entre a História e a Ficção: Uma Saga de Portugueses, Miguel Real’s “Saramago: la ficción como sentido de la historia,” and Luís de Sousa Rebelo’s “A consciência da história na ficção de José Saramago.” Francis Lough engages with Rebelo’s view of history in A Jangada de Pedra and the formation of Portuguese identity.

15. Saramago also gives us a striking image of the horrors of modern machines of war: “Valeram na emergência os helicópteros, esses artefactos voadores ou passarolas capazes de pousar em quase todos os lugares, e, quando de todo impossível, procedem à imitação do colibri, aproximam-se quase a tocar a flor, os passageiros nem precisam de escada, um saltinho e basta, entram logo na corola, entre estames e pistilos, aspirando os aromas, quantas vezes de napalm e carne queimada” (26).

 

Works Cited:

Albuquerque, Martim de. A Expressão do Poder em Luís de Camões. Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional—Casa da Moeda, 1988.

Alves, Hélio J. S. “Post-imperial Bacchus: The Politics of Literary Criticism in Camões Studies 1940-2001”. Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 9: Post-imperial Camões(2003): 95-106.

Amorim, Orlando Nunes de. “Jorge de Sena e a Tradição da Novela Histórica em Portugal.” Tudo Isto que Rodeia Jorge de Sena. Lisbon: Salamandra, 2003. 213-39.

Camões, Luís de. Os Lusíadas. 3rd edition. Lisbon: Instituto Camões, 1992.

Kaufman, Helena. “A Metaficção Historiográfica de José Saramago.” Colóquio/Letras 120 (1991): 124-36.

Kaufman, Helena and Anna Klobucka. “Politics and Culture in Postrevolutionary Portugal.”After the Revolution: Twenty Years of Portuguese Literature, 1974-1994. Helena Kaufman and Anna Klobucka (eds). Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1997. 13-30.

Kaufman, Helena and José Ornelas. “Challenging the Past/Theorizing History: Postrevolutionary Portuguese Fiction.” After the Revolution: Twenty Years of Portuguese Literature, 1974-1994. Helena Kaufman and Anna Klobucka (eds). Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1997. 145-67.

Lima, Beatriz de Mendonça. “‘Capangala não responde,’ de Jorge de Sena: A Língua Portuguesa em Sintonia com o Absurdo.” Boletim do SEPESP, 6 (1995): 167-72.

Lough, Francis. “National Identity and Historiography in José Saramago’s A Jangada de Pedra.” Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 8, 2 (2002): 153-63.

Lourenço, Eduardo. “Sob o Signo de Deucalião.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies9: Post-imperial Camões (2003): 117-20.

Macedo, Helder. “The Lusiads: Epic Celebration and Pastoral Regret.” Portuguese Studies6 (1990): 32-37.

—. “Conceptual Oppositions in the Poetry of Camões.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 9: Post-imperial Camões (2003): 63-77.

Madureira, Luís. “The Discreet Seductiveness of the Crumbling Empire—Sex, Violence and Colonialism in the Fiction of António Lobo Antunes.” Luso-Brazilian Review 32 (1995): 17-29.

Magalhães, Joaquim Romero. “Vasco da Gama: Uma Indispensável Releitura das Crónicas.” Voz Lusíada, 10 (1998): 5-20.

Parry, Benita. Postcolonial Studies: A Materialist Critique. London and New York: Routledge, 2004.

Peres, Phyllis. “Love and Imagination in the Ruins of Empire: António Lobo Antunes’s Os Cus de Judas and O Fado Alexandrino.” After the Revolution: Twenty Years of Portuguese Literature, 1974-1994. Helena Kaufman and Anna Klobucka (eds). Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1997. 187-201.

Quint, David. “Voices of Resistance: The Epic Curse and Camões’s Adamastor.” New World Encounters. Stephen Greenblat (ed.). Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford: University of California Press, 1993. 241-71.

Rajan, Balachandra. “Milton and Camões: Reinventing the Old Man.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 9: Post­imperial Camões (2003): 177-87.

Real, Miguel. “Saramago: La Ficción como Sentido de la Historia.” Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos 660 (June 2005): 7-14.

Rebelo, Luís de Sousa. “A Consciência da História na Ficção de José Saramago.” Vértice52 (January-February 1993): 29-38.

Sabine, Mark. “Gender, Race, and Violence in Luís Bernardo Honwana’s Nós Matámos o Cão-Tinhoso: The Emasculation of the African Patriarch.” Sexual/Textual Empires: Gender and Marginality in Lusophone African Literature. Hilary Owen and Phillip Rothwell (eds). Bristol: University of Bristol, 2004. 23-44.

Santos, Boaventura Sousa. “State and Society in Portugal.” After the Revolution: Twenty Years of Portuguese Literature, 1974-1994. Helena Kaufman and Anna Klobucka (eds). Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1997. 31-72.

Sapega, Ellen. “Aspectos do Romance Pós-Revolucionário Português: O Papel da Memória na Construção de um Novo Sujeito Nacional.” Luso-Brazilian Review 32 (Summer 1995): 31-40.

—. “No Longer Alone and Proud: Notes on the Rediscovery of the Nation in Contemporary Portuguese Fiction.” After the Revolution: Twenty Years of Portuguese Literature, 1974-1994. Helena Kaufman and Anna Klobucka (eds). Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1997. 168-86.

Saraiva, José António. Luís de Camões: Estudo e Antologia. 3rd Edition. Amadora: Bertrand, 1980.

Saramago, José. A Jangada de Pedra. 4th Edition. Lisbon: Editorial Caminho, 1988.

Seixo, Maria-Alzira. “Reading Camões’s The Lusiads: Postcolonial Views in the Constitution of Literary Colonial Discourse.” The Paths of Multiculturalism: Travel Writings and Postcolonialism. Maria-Alzira Seixo, John Noyes, Graça Abreu and Isabel Moutinho (eds). Lisbon: Edições Cosmos, 2000. 303-312.

Sena, Jorge de. Trinta Anos de Camões 1948-1978 (Estudos Camonianos e Correlatos). Vol 1. Lisbon: Edições 70, 1980a.

—. Trinta Anos de Camões 1948-1978 (Estudos Camonianos e Correlatos). Vol 2. Lisbon: Edições 70, 1980b.

—. Estudos sobre o Vocabulário de “Os Lusíadas” com Notas sobre o Humanismo e o Exoterismo de Camões. Lisbon: Edições 70, 1982.

—. Jorge de Sena—Vergílio Ferreira: Correspondência. Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional—Casa da Moeda, 1987.

—. Os Grão-Capitães. 5th edition. Lisbon: Edições 70, 1989.

Silva, Teresa Cristina Cerdeira da. José Saramago, Entre a História e a Ficção: Uma Saga de Portugueses. Lisbon: Dom Quixote, 1989.

Subrahmanyam, Sanjay. The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

 

[*] In: Ellipsis: Journal of the American Portuguese Studies Association 4 (2006), 79-97.

[**] Professor/Pesquisador da Queen’s University of Belfast, onde dirige o Queen’s Postcolonial Research Forum.