Fernando de Moraes Gebra (University of Lisbon)


Fernando de Moraes Gebra holds a PhD in Literary Studies (2009), from Federal University of Paraná (UFPR/Curitiba/PR) and a Master’s degree in the same area of studies (2003), from Londrina State University (UEL/PR). He belongs to the research group European Literatures and Cultures, at Centro de Literaturas e Culturas Lusófonase Europeias (CLEPUL), at Lisbon University. His research experience emphasizes the following subjects: literary criticism, the double in literary studies, and the construction of national and intersubjective identities in Portuguese and Brazilian literatures of the twentieth century. He developed a post-doctoral project (2015) at Lisbon University about the poetics of the Orpheu generation. He is the author of essays published in journals in Brazil and Portugal. Also noteworthy are his book chapters published in 100 Orpheu, Donner un nom à l’obscur, 100 Futurismo and Quando eu morrer batam emlatas: Mário de Sá-Carneiro cem anos depois.


Inside Orpheu: A Historiographical Review of the Portuguese Modernism

The present paper questions some commonplaces in Portuguese literary criticism that sets in its discourse an irreconcilable ditch between the decadent and symbolist attitudes and the avant-garde experiments in the magazine Orpheu, which results in the canonization of some authors instead of others, and the oblivion of poets such as Alfredo Pedro Guisado. Considering texts written by Fernando Pessoa, Luís de Montalvor, Raul Leal and Alfredo Guisado about Orpheu, we comprehend this generation movement as a “concert of individualities” (Montalvor), in which “each one thought with their own head” (Guisado), since they had an aesthetic and a cultural diversity noticeable in “poems and proses that go from Ultra symbolism to Futurism” (Pessoa). This generation, which moves forward in Exílio, Centauro, Portugal Futurista, Contemporânea, Athena, and Sudoeste magazines and also in the pages of the newspaper República, presents dialogical relations with the past, seeking to “go beyond it, taking it, however, as a starting point” (Raul Leal). Pessimist attitudes related to the worship of boredom and melancholy as crepuscular states of the soul and optimistic and provocative attitudes coexist in the group of Orpheu, considered by the literary historiographies as the starting point of Portuguese Modernism. In the poetic projects of each member of the Orpheu generation, these discourses (decadentism and avant-garde) are juxtaposed. It is impossible to separate and classify them into two opposite literary fields. This paper aims to analyze Fernando Pessoa’s, Luís de Montalvor’s, Raul Leal’s and Alfredo Guisado’s memorialist discourses in four texts about the shape of this literary generation written in different periods, from 1915 up to 1965.