Ongoing Literary Modernity in the Lusophone Space

Ongoing Literary Modernity in the Lusophone Space: Interactions between World-Modernism and Peripheral Literary Modernity

Marco Bucaioni (University of Lisbon), Rui Sousa (University of Lisbon)

In recent years, as proposed by authors such as Huyssen (2005), Friedman (2015), and Jaillant and Martin (2018), the renewal of Modernist Studies underwent the recognition of issues such as the relation between regionalism, internationalism and transnationalism, related to a problematization of the processes of mutual exchange and contamination between European paradigms globally disseminated and the different local traditions who received and transformed these models, combining them with aspects of their own cultures. The semi-peripheral condition of Portugal, according to the concept proposed by Casanova (1999) and Moretti (2003) and the analysis of Boaventura Sousa Santos (1994), became particularly decisive in the constitution of the programmatic discourse assumed by the most representative authors of Portuguese Modernism, the poets and writers of Orpheu group (1915), especially Fernando Pessoa. Portuguese modernism deliberately questioned Portugal’s place in Western Modernity, considering the cultural marginalization to which the country had been subjected. The ambiguous relationship of Portuguese modernism with its European counterparts resides in a characteristic we consider the most evident manifestation of a semi-peripheral status: the programmatic proposal of the synthesis between the Portuguese cultural specificity and the different models developed within the framework of the European avant-gardes. The main purpose of this panel is to explore the repercussions of this problematic relationship with the models disseminated by European Modernism in the Portuguese literary movements of the second half of the 20th century. The late reception of some paradigmatic models of European modernism (Dadaism, Surrealism, the modernist novel) as well as the awareness of the country’s cultural and sociopolitical marginality, were decisive in the constitution of a singular literary canon that merged the European modernist heritage, the persistence of local paradigms and the obsessive questioning of the Portuguese identity within the framework of Western culture.

Interested scholars are invited to send their proposal, including a short bio and 300-word abstract, to modernism@ugent.be by 15 February 2023. The proposal must include the title of both the individual paper and the panel session.