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Silenced Voices

Colonial and Anti-Colonial Literature in Portuguese Literary History
Voix éteintes : considérations sur la position des littératures coloniale et anticoloniale dans l’histoire littéraire portugaise
Vozes silenciadas : considerações sobre a posição das literaturas colonial e anti-colonial na História da Literatura portuguesa
Ingemai Larsen
p. 59-69

Résumés

Cet article, au carrefour des études postcoloniales et de l’histoire littéraire portugaises, porte notamment sur les problèmes méthodologiques liés au persistant usage du “modèle national téléologique”. Il s’agit en particulier des problèmes spécifiques découlant du traitement presque inexistant de nombre d’auteurs habituellement connus comme représentatifs de la littérature coloniale et anticoloniale tels Luandino Vieira ou Castro Soromenho. Une autre question est la valeur potentielle de la littérature coloniale comme source de l’étude contemporaine du colonialisme portugais ou pour les historiens de la littérature. Ce point est abordé par le biais d’une brève présentation de l’œuvre de Rodrigues Júnior, un auteur extrêmement productif de la littérature coloniale au Mozambique, qui est aujourd’hui pratiquement tombé dans l’oubli.

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Texte intégral

  • 1 “No! The decision was made. He would not return. No matter what happened. Niassa was also Portugues (...)

“Não! Estava decidido. Não voltaria. Passasse o que passasse. O Niassa também era terra portuguesa, também era Portugal”1.
R. Júnior, O Branco da Motase,
Lourenço Marques, África Editora, 1952 : 29.

  • 2 L. Hutcheon, “Rethinking the National Model”, in L. Hutcheon & M.J. Valdés (eds), Literary History: (...)

1In her contribution to the anthology Rethinking Literary History Linda Hutcheon asks how – in this globalised, multinational and diasporic world – we can explain the continuing appeal not only of the single-nation/single-ethnicity focus of literary histories, but also of its familiar teleological model, deployed even by those writing the new literary histories based on race, gender, sexual choice or any number of other identitarian categories. To this complex question her pragmatic answer is that the national, teleological model works – and that, in spite of its many inherent problems, it is hard to come up with a better alternative2.

  • 3 See, for instance, F. Rosas, História de Portugal. VII. O Estado Novo (1926-1974), Lisbon, Editoria (...)

2This probably answers the first of the two central questions formulated in this paper, namely: Why does this model persist in Portugal despite all the problems connected to it, problems relating particularly to the changing borders and conceptions of the size of the nation in the 20th century and thus problems related to Portugal's colonial past and the process of loosing the African possessions?3

  • 4 The choice of these (discursively defined) designations is partly tentative (which reflects the imp (...)
  • 5 Ó. Lopes & M. de F. Marinho (eds), História da literatura portuguesa. Volume 7. As correntes contem (...)

3Linda Hutcheon is doubtlessly right to point out the difficulties of developing other and more satisfying models that would substitute the national mould. However, in the Portuguese case another decisive factor is that Portuguese Literary History, not only before but also after the fall of the Estado Novo, has had problems in dealing with the implication of the history of that same epoch as well as in defining the criteria on which to base its work. As for the latter assertion it could also be put in positive terms stating that, with a few exceptions, the relevance of the traditional, national model has never been questioned. This might have to do with the age of the Portuguese nation-state and of its historiography. In any case, the consequences of the national model's dominance are various, and the second question formulated in this paper deals exactly with the specific problems brought about by the adherence to the national model. It will be argued that they relate to the lack of reflection on the criteria – aesthetic, ideological or others – on which each single literary history has been written and that, following from this circumstance, a number of authors, both those referred to as representing colonial and as anti-colonial literature, are either treated inconsistently or, even worse, especially in the case of colonial literature, have simply disappeared from history4. In fact, if we take a look at the most recent Portuguese Literary History, the 2002-edition from Alfa, História da Literatura Portuguesa. As Correntes Contemporâneas5, we will find no mention whatsoever of colonial literature.

4This article, which derives from an ongoing project on various aspects of colonial literature, is to be regarded as a modest contribution to and inspiration for further research within a field that so far has not attracted much interest. In the first part, examples of the problem of inconsistent treatment of a few well-known authors will be provided. The purpose is not to malign the competences and intentions of the various editors mentioned but to call attention to what we consider an ethical and scientific dilemma. Another point is to demonstrate the potential value of colonial literature for the contemporary study of Portuguese colonialism. In the final part we will therefore present a short example of how the work of the author Rodrigues Junior contains surprising aspects that may be of interest for literary historians and for postcolonial researchers alike.

The National Model in Portugal: Disregarding criteria…

  • 6 See, for instance, E. Lourenço, O Labirinto da Saudade, Lisbon, Publicações Dom Quixote, 1978, B. d (...)

5With regard to the background and strength of the national model in Portugal, it is sufficient, in this case, to remember that literary history as we know it today grew out of eighteenth-century romanticism, the formation of certain national self-imaginings and cultural self-awarenesses and was thus closely connected to the construction of the citizen and the patriot. However, due to the very long nation-state-building process in Portugal, during which literature and historiography strongly tended to walk hand in hand, the formation of national self-awareness was initiated long before it was recognised by the generation of Romantics6. One of the many virtues of literary history, like historical narrative, is that it has created and continues to create a sense of continuity between past and present, usually with a view to promoting ideological consensus, and in this function of granting authority and creating continuity lies the core of their shared political or interventionist agendas. Furthermore, in the process of creating a national self-representation against the Other, literature is directly related to the specific telos of cultural legitimacy. This is especially relevant when considering the colonial history of Portugal, because to Portugal the imperial self was, to a considerable degree, defined against the colonised Other. Thus Portuguese literary history is filled with “grand narratives”; headed of course by Os Lusíadas and followed by a large number of travel literature that confirms Portuguese cultural identity as well as the Portuguese civilising mission; hence its power and instant appeal.

  • 7 Pequeno roteiro da história da literatura portuguesa, Lisbon, Instituto Português do Livro, 1984.
  • 8 Á.M. Machado (ed.), Dicionário de literatura portuguesa, Lisbon, Editorial Presença, 1996.
  • 9 C. Reis (ed.), História crítica da literatura portuguesa, Lisbon – São Paulo, Verbo, 1995.

6In other words, the early worldwide experience of the Portuguese, as well as the myths surrounding it and the political-ideological profiting from it, has contributed to the strengthening of the traditional, national model, and even for the second half of the 20th century alternative models have not been considered: nor have Portuguese researchers really felt the need to spell out their priorities or criteria. With a few exceptions the national model has prevailed with its linear, causal, unifying and clear focus on the literature produced in the Metropolis rather than the empire. This must be the reason why Portuguese literary histories or encyclopaedias are generally not concerned with explaining the criteria upon which they base their work. There are, of course, differences of degree ranging from the absence of any reflection whatsoever, which would be the case of the Pequeno Roteiro da História da Literatura Portuguesa published in 1984 by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, and which is relevant to mention not because of its degree of circulation, but because it provides the official Portuguese discourse on history and literature7. Another example of disregard of methodological considerations would be the Dicionário de Literatura Portuguesa from Presença8 as well as the abovementioned work from Alfa: História da Literatura Portuguesa. As Correntes Contemporâneas. Whether the Verbo-edition História Crítica da Literatura Portuguesa is going to mark a shift in terms of methodological concerns, only time will show. In the first volumes the preface includes considerations on the characteristics of this particular type of history as well as some brief reflection on the very nature of literary history9. However, the volume on the second part of 20th century has not yet been published, and consequently no further reference to this publication will be made.

  • 10 “When we prepare ourselves for the study of a literary history, we cannot avoid considering such ba (...)

7Within the field of classic literary histories, the most visible exception from this rule happens to be the work of Saraiva & Lopes, História da Literatura Portuguesa, now almost 50 years old. In their rendering of the Portuguese literary history we find a rather elaborate preface in which, for instance, the question of the relationship between language, nationality and culture is addressed10. Nevertheless, apart from this cornerstone of 20th century Portuguese culture, almost every other literary history seems not be unconcerned with this issue, notwithstanding its imperative position within a Portuguese context.

8It is problematic when scholars disregard criteria; or rather work with only implicit criteria, naturally because this leads to the inconsistent treatment of authors, themes and genres. In the present case colonial and anti-colonial literature suffers from the arbitrary inclusion or exclusion of Luandino Vieira, to name just one.

Empire, Myth and Myopia

  • 11 Luandino Vieira (1935-): Grew up in Luanda as a son of Portuguese emigrants. He was imprisoned in 1 (...)
  • 12 Á.M. Machado, Dicionário… , op. cit.: 503.
  • 13 Ó. Lopes & M. de F. Marinho (eds), História…, op. cit.: 367.
  • 14 For instance, in the 9th edition he was depicted in a very precise and contextualised manner, as an (...)
  • 15 Pepetela (1941-): Grew up in Luanda as a son of Portuguese emigrants. He went to Lisbon in order to (...)
  • 16 Ó. Lopes & M. de F. Marinho (eds), História…, op. cit.: 232.

9In the Pequeno Roteiro da história da literatura portuguesa, which contains 432 portraits, authors like Rui Knopfli and Castro Soromenho are included; Luandino Vieira is not, although his connection to Portugal is obviously as close as that of Knopli and Soromenho11. In the Dicionário de Literatura Portuguesa, Luandino is considered “funcionalmente angolano” (“Angolan in practise”) 12, whereas in the new Alfa-edition he is simply “um escritor angolano” (“an Angolan writer”)13. Not a single additional remark on him or his publications is included in this literary history. Vieira has also disappeared from Saraiva & Lopes´ História da Literatura Portuguesa, although he was present in earlier editions14. Pepetela (Arthur Pestana) suffers a similar, silencing, fate. He is, admittedly, a borderline case since the first publication of his work took place in 1973; still he is not to be represented in any Portuguese literary history know to us15. In the case of Castro Soromenho, the Dicionário de Literatura Portuguesa has given him quite a lot of space whereas the new Alfa-edition affords him two lines, paradoxically informing the reader that this author wrote the first ‘livro verdadeiramente anticolonialista’ (“truly anti-colonial book”) but providing absolutely no details about the book, the author or the impact of this significant event16.

  • 17 Cf. B. Anderson, Imagined Communities, London – New York, Verso, 1991: 22-36. (1st ed. 1983)

10It is not only quite natural but inevitable that the reception of authors changes over time. What also seems to happen in this case, however, relates precisely to the problems of the national model, to its limitations and weaknesses. Bearing in mind that ontologically speaking the nation and the novel share the same status or more precisely, that they must do so if they are to contribute to the teleological project of literary history17, it is obvious why the many literal and/or ideological border-crossings of the anti-colonial authors have caused problems before the fall of the Estado Novo. It is interesting to consider why the problem seems to persist also after the fall of this regime.

  • 18 Á.M. Machado, Dicionário… op. cit. : 504. See also note 14.

11Perhaps the implicit criteria of the Alfa-edition is that the space devoted to each of the authors should correspond to their perceived national self-identification (the less connected to Portugal they are perceived to feel, the less space they occupy) which in itself may be interpreted as a generous gesture; Soromenho is unconditionally handed over to Angolan Literary History, instantly transferring him from a marginal position to a fundamental one. At the same time, however, this gesture leads to the elimination of a highly important chapter of Portuguese Literary History both from an ideological and aesthetical perspective. Deliberately or not, the Dicionário de Literatura Portuguesa has avoided falling into this trap by simultaneously offering Luandino Vieira to Angolan Literary History and keeping him in that literary history in which, for historical reasons, he grew up. Thus, in the entry on Luandino we learn that “in 1963 in the prison of the Portuguese Secret Police [PIDE] he wrote the three narratives of Luuanda, edited in 1964 and constituting the charter of Angolan Literature”18.

  • 19 L. Hutcheon, “Rethinking…, op. cit.: 15.

12These few examples illustrate to an extent that leaves no doubt that “the literary histories (like the social histories) of both former colony and former empire are always intrinsically complex, internally and externally relational, and mutually implicated; these qualities make these histories crucial to their nations' self-understanding”19.

  • 20 F. Noa, Império…, op. cit., Lisbon, Caminho, 2000.
  • 21 See P. Laranjeira, Literaturas africanas de expressão portuguesas, Coimbra, Universidade Aberta, 19 (...)
  • 22 M. Ferreira, Literaturas africanas de expressão portuguesa, I, Lisbon, Ministério da Educação e Cul (...)

13Still, if the position of anti-colonial literature is uncertain, the total elimination of colonial literature in all recently published literary histories is even more conspicuous. Francisco Noa has effectively proved that this non-existence is irreconcilable with fact. In his book Império, Mito e Miopia – the only monograph on this literature seen so far – Noa analyses the representation of Mozambique in a number of Portuguese colonial novels that today are completely unknown to the layman as well as to the expert20. Naturally, Francisco Noa wasn't the first to analyse colonial literature. Older and experienced researchers such as Pires Laranjeira, Russel Hamilton and Alfredo Margarido have all examined and for obvious reasons rejected the potential interest of this corpus of texts, due to its often strongly racist and colonialist character21. In 1977, another pioneer within the field of African literature, Manuel Ferreira, referring precisely to this fact, formulated what every sensible person would agree at that time: that many of these works “are condemned to oblivion”22. Ferreiras prediction came true, and today, when we plead for these books to be rescued from oblivion, his words and feelings of that time are no less understandable or imposing.

  • 23 A.J. Saraiva & Ò. Lopes, História…, op. cit. : 1129.

14Colonial literature was also accounted for in the older editions of Saraiva & Lopes. In the fourth edition we find a chapter on Literatura Ultramarina, which treats a number of the authors analysed by Manuel Ferreira and Francisco Noa. In later editions the designation of this chapter changes to Literatura Colonial (contrary to the official practice brought about with the constitutional change of 1951 when the colónias (colonies) were replaced with the províncias ultramarinas (the overseas provinces). Nevertheless, this chapter has disappeared from the recent editions, and so have all but two of the 16 authors who used to be included. Moreover, the “colonial production” of two remaining authors is no longer mentioned. Thus the historiography of the many editions of Saraiva & Lopes, História da Literatura Portuguesa constitutes in itself a mirror of the political, cultural and mental changes that the Portuguese nation went through from colonial times to the surrender of empire: from the earlier editions of the 1950s in which “literatura ultramarina” (oversea litterature) is commented on without any noteworthy distance and considered a part of “o realismo contemporâneo” (contemporary realism) through the later editions in which the position of Saraiva and Lopes is a bit uncertain, such as in the ninth edition in which the authors euphemistically talk of a literature that developed in “condições muito próprias” (very special conditions) 23, to the newest editions in which this chapter of (literary) history has turned into a taboo to the extend that is has been silenced completely.

  • 24 Thus, according to the authors of the chapter on Regionalistas, the narrative of a range of their b (...)

15The situation has remained unchanged. Thus the abovementioned História da literatura portuguesa. As correntes contemporâneas transmits exactly this message: that no such literature has ever existed, not even in the shape of isolated writings. So extensive is the lack of logic that the work still contains an extensive chapter on Regionalistas e panfletários, in which (that is our clear impression) not only aesthetic-literary priorities rule but where also the function of literature as constituting a testemónio, a historic document, has been taken into account24. Consequently, the non-existence of colonial literature can hardly be explained by referring only to aesthetic criteria, although it is true that this type of literature offers very little in that respect. Its continuing existence in Portuguese Literary History would definitely have to be justified by its ideologically and/or epistemologically defined dialogue with a specific historic context: the Portuguese Empire of the Estado Novo.

What Does Colonial Literature Offer

16What, then, does colonial literature offer in this respect apart from the predictable depiction of stereotypes in a colonial setting? Dwelling for a moment on an aspect of the work of the author and journalist Rodrigues Junior may serve as an example of the surprises and challenges contained in this literature.

  • 25 Rui Knopfli quoted in F. Noa, op. cit.: 43.

17Rodrigues Junior, the most productive author of colonial literature from Mozambique but today hardly remembered (and not represented in any Portuguese literary history that we know of), published 5 novels, about 20 non-fiction books and a large number of essays during the years 1939-1975. Rodrigues Junior arrived in Mozambique in 1919 at the age of 17. Details of his biography are unheard of to us, but we know that he travelled through Mozambique as a journalist and author, and that even in his very final writings he vigorously defended Portuguese colonial policy. It is worthwhile to emphasise what also Rui Knopfli has noted: that his novels represent “an extreme example of pseudo literature” and that they express in a most transparent way the ideal of colonisation of the Estado Novo25. From this point of view, Rodrigues Junior does not represent a marginal voice that might be expected to be erased in the long run; on the contrary, his voice comes from the very centre of imperial power. However, his writing – his colonial discourse – is not without fissures and cracks and that is what makes them interesting and relevant for further literary and postcolonial investigation.

Rodrigues Júnior and miscegenation

  • 26 Cf. B. de Sousa Santos, “Entre Próspero e Caliban”, in M.I. Ramalho & A. Sousa Ribeiro (eds), Entre (...)
  • 27 25 R. Junior, Sehura, Lisbon, [no editor], 1944.
  • 28 R. Junior, Muende, Lourenço Marquês, [no editor],1960.
  • 29 R. Junior, O Branco da Motase, Lisbon, [no editor], 1952.
  • 30 Quite an ambivalent position: the Portuguese regime officially accepted miscegenation but unofficia (...)

18The typical theme of his novels is the life of the cafrealizado (the Portuguese emigrant who would cut off contact with “civilization” and adapt completely to the local culture)26 whose native partner helps him to survive the harsh life of the colony. In earlier novels by Rodrigues Junior, the civilizsd and paternalistic Portuguese colonist is depicted as being a lonely hero and – due to the “primitive conditions” – deprived of the possibility of living together with his wife. In the novel Sehura, the protagonist reluctantly admits to having sexual relationships with native partners, but excuses himself with his loneliness and with his being a slave of his physical needs, as he repeatedly states. However, he successfully suppresses his temptation to marry an indigenous woman, and after a while, with the help of his more headstrong Portuguese friend, he regrets his sexual escapades and eventually leaves his mistress27. Likewise, but now even stronger, in later novels Junior seeks to excuse and sympathise with the Portuguese cafrealizado, depicting him as a saint whose humanistic spirit and high moral has raised the level of civilization of the natives. That would be the case in Muende in which the protagonist does in fact marry a native woman despite his moral scruples, not to mention the insults he suffers from his Portuguese compatriots28. The right to practise miscegenation is also visible in O Branco da Motase in which the status and way of living of the cafrealizado is not basically questioned29. Here, we can clearly see an ambivalent attitude in Junior´s treatment of the delicate question of miscegenation. Still, it must be emphasised that the acceptance of the relationship between black and white is only full in the sense that it relieves the Portuguese male of his responsibility and guilt. Miscegenation continues to be a matter of necessity, and the predictable hierarchy, placing the Portuguese male (with all his sexual and other privileges) at the top, is not questioned in any of these writings, nor does the depiction of the natives, including the women, go beyond the stereotype: the Mozambican female is devoted, childish, mild, obedient and sexually fervent. Still, in several of his novels, Junior does in fact offend, if not transgress, the Portuguese attitude to the relationship between black and white people30. This circumstance is reflected in his writing, and a recurrent element especially in the later novels is the criticism of the Portuguese administration. Quite often the Portuguese administrator intervenes as a significant obstacle to the colonist; he does not approve of or even understand the cafrealizado, he doesn't offer any practical or moral support: in fact he goes as far as to obstruct, humiliate and penalise those colonists who have relationships with native women.

19Thus, a very visible dichotomy rules in the novels of Junior between on the one hand the humanistic Portuguese colonist-emigrant – whether cafrealizado or not – and the grateful, submissive native population comprising the devoted woman, and, on the other hand the greedy colonist, the muslim Asian Mozambican (the monhé) and the Portuguese administrator: rather surprising considering that Junior is a true proselyte of the Salazarregime.

  • 31 F. Noa, op. cit.: 28. See also L. Hutcheon, op. cit.: 20.

20Needless to say, the ungrateful black is not part of this universe. It also goes without saying, in correspondence with Manuel Ferreira´s point of view, that the writings of Rodrigues Junior do not deserve a laudatory literary afterlife. They do however deserve an afterlife, simply because they are part of Portuguese literary history and are, as such, testemunhos: they witness as Francisco Noa rightly has noted, “uma forma de estar no mundo dos outros” (“a way of being in the world of the other's”)31.

  • 32 B. de Sousa Santos, op. cit.: 57.

21In his analysis of the the specificity of Portuguese colonialism, Boaventura de Sousa Santos asserts that “along with our increasing knowledge of the narratives of the Portuguese cafrealizados comes a more complex understanding of the processes of hybridity which is certainly also different from that provided by those who visited them in brilliant apparitions of imperial, clerical or royal power, otherwise absent”32. Sousa Santos´ argument is well known: Portuguese colonialism is characterised by its deficiency, necessity and ambivalence, especially when compared to British colonialism. The Lusophone miscegenation is the result of a different type of racism, often, claims Sousa Santos, a case of sexual discrimination. And the Portuguese coloniser is himself a colonised person, a circumstance which means that the imitations practised by the colonised are rather chaotic, because they are also taken up by the coloniser – simply in order for him to survive or even for both to survive. Another consequence is that the stereotype of the coloniser is not definitive; rather it is transitory and inconsistent. All this does not signify that those colonised by the Portuguese are less colonised than others but that the ambivalence and hybridity in the Portuguese case goes far ahead the representation, discourse, and practises of enunciation. They are carnal, they are daily experiences that have been lived through centuries.

  • 33 E. Saíd, Culture and Imperialism, London, Vintage, 1994: xxi.

22From our point of view, the works of the Portuguese anti-colonial, border-crossing authors as well as those of the colonial writers such as Rodrigues Junior, occupied with the life and position of the cafrealizados, may serve as very good examples of this ambivalence and hybridity and may be of interest both to contemporary researchers working on the exposure of 20th century colonialism and to literary historians. Or, seen in another both scientific and ethical perspective: On the one hand, in a today's world where “partly because of empire, all cultures are involved in one another; none is single and pure, all are hybrid, heterogeneous, extraordinarily differentiated and unmonolithic”, as Edward Said has told us33, this situation must and is inevitably going to influence the writing of national literary histories of both former colonial and former imperial cultures. The Luso-African history evidently constitutes a paradigmatic example of this state of affairs. And on the other hand, despite its continuous and indisputable power the fragile aspects of the national model are becoming ever more visible. Resolution of the literary-aesthetic, ideological and ethic problems mentioned in this article can be found by the inclusion of the postcolonial dimension of Portuguese History in literary history. To write and edit a literary history based merely and only implicitly on the national model is to deny the true value of our history and let down potential listeners of a range of currently silenced voices.

23January and May, 2006

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Notes

1 “No! The decision was made. He would not return. No matter what happened. Niassa was also Portuguese land, it was also Portugal”.

2 L. Hutcheon, “Rethinking the National Model”, in L. Hutcheon & M.J. Valdés (eds), Literary History: A Dialogue on Theory, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002: 3-50. Alternatives to the teleological model (that serves the purpose of the nation due to the fact that the political concept of the modern nation-state and the discipline of literary history were born together) would also include the (transnational) comparative model in a number of versions and the framework of what is known as world literature (based on Goethe's theorization of Weltliteratur).

3 See, for instance, F. Rosas, História de Portugal. VII. O Estado Novo (1926-1974), Lisbon, Editorial Estampa, 1994 [dir. José Mattoso].

4 The choice of these (discursively defined) designations is partly tentative (which reflects the implications of the lack of attention paid to this group of authors in Portuguese literary history). However, we follow what we consider is consensus: Colonial literature, comprising until 1974 in principle all literature produced in the colonies by authors of Portuguese origin, is the designation we use when referring to a literature translating “a sobreposição cultural e civilizacional dos europeus que se manifesta no silenciamento, subordinação ou na marginalização do elemento autóctone” (a cultural and civilisational superimposition manifested in the silencing, subordination or in the marginalisation of the indigenous element), F. Noa, Império, Mito e Miopia, Lisbon, Caminho, 2002 : 46, whereas anti-colonial literature is the designation used when referring to literature that violates such a discourse of European/Portuguese hegemony. However, also the label “realismo colonial” (colonial realism) has been used for the latter group (Francisco Noa in commenting on Castro Soromenho, F. Noa, op. cit.: 65).

5 Ó. Lopes & M. de F. Marinho (eds), História da literatura portuguesa. Volume 7. As correntes contemporâneas, Lisbon, Publicações Alfa, 2002.

6 See, for instance, E. Lourenço, O Labirinto da Saudade, Lisbon, Publicações Dom Quixote, 1978, B. de Sousa Santos, “Onze teses por ocasião de mais uma descoberta de Portugal”, in B. de Sousa Santos (ed.), Pela mão de Alice, Porto, Afrontamento, 1994: 49-68, or M. Calafate, Uma história de regressos. Império, guerra colonial e pós-colonialismo, Lisbon, Afrontamento, 2004.

7 Pequeno roteiro da história da literatura portuguesa, Lisbon, Instituto Português do Livro, 1984.

8 Á.M. Machado (ed.), Dicionário de literatura portuguesa, Lisbon, Editorial Presença, 1996.

9 C. Reis (ed.), História crítica da literatura portuguesa, Lisbon – São Paulo, Verbo, 1995.

10 “When we prepare ourselves for the study of a literary history, we cannot avoid considering such basic concepts as those of literature and literary work as well as the existing relationships between criticism and the history of literary taste, between literature and language and between literary history and history in general, including the national history”. These are the words by which A.J. Saraiva & Ó. Lopes open their preface (História da literatura portuguesa, 4th ed., Lisbon, Porto Editora, n.d.). Later, in the passage Literatura, cultura, nacionalidade : 11-14, they address, for instance, the problem whether Brazilian authors and authors writing in Galician ought to and can be included in a Portuguese literary history. In other words, what Saraiva & Lopes do is precisely to reflect on the inherent problems of the national model, however, without ever questioning the legitimacy of the colonial empire, which at that time constituted the frame of the Portuguese national model.

11 Luandino Vieira (1935-): Grew up in Luanda as a son of Portuguese emigrants. He was imprisoned in 1961 for collaboration with the Angolan nationalists. Today he lives in Lisbon. Luandino Vieira's style has been of major importance for Angolan and Portuguese literature. See also note 14.

Castro Soromenho (1910-1968): Born in Mozambique, grew up in Angola as a son of Portuguese emigrants. He went to Lisbon where he worked as a journalist and was later exiled in Brazil, for political reasons. His complete ideological shift in 1949 is most visible in the trilogy Terra Morta (1949), Viragem (1957) and A Chaga (1970).

Rui Knopfli (1932-1998): Son of Portuguese emigrants, he was born in Mozambique where he lived until 1973 when he moved to London and later to Lisbon. Less political than Soromenho and Luandino he nevertheless contributed to Portuguese as well as Mozambican literary history with a number of important works.

12 Á.M. Machado, Dicionário… , op. cit.: 503.

13 Ó. Lopes & M. de F. Marinho (eds), História…, op. cit.: 367.

14 For instance, in the 9th edition he was depicted in a very precise and contextualised manner, as an author who “was imprisoned during 11 years due to his collaboration with the patriotic Angolans and who began his literary career by denouncing a direct and linear anti colonialism […]; the three short stories of Luuanda, 1964, honoured with a literary prize of the Portuguese Society of Writers (which made Salazar close down the Society in 1965) reveal the fusion of the stylistic inventiveness of Guimarães Rosa, the virtues of the Portuguese spoken in the multiracial districts of the outskirts of Luanda [musseques] and the colonial tensions present there, finding its state of perfection in the ‘estórias’…”, História da Literatura Portuguesa, Saraiva e Lopes: 1129-1130.

15 Pepetela (1941-): Grew up in Luanda as a son of Portuguese emigrants. He went to Lisbon in order to study but returned in 1961 to join MPLA. Exiled in France and Algeria. He started writing in 1969 but was not published until 1973. Today he continues to live in Angola.

16 Ó. Lopes & M. de F. Marinho (eds), História…, op. cit.: 232.

17 Cf. B. Anderson, Imagined Communities, London – New York, Verso, 1991: 22-36. (1st ed. 1983)

18 Á.M. Machado, Dicionário… op. cit. : 504. See also note 14.

19 L. Hutcheon, “Rethinking…, op. cit.: 15.

20 F. Noa, Império…, op. cit., Lisbon, Caminho, 2000.

21 See P. Laranjeira, Literaturas africanas de expressão portuguesas, Coimbra, Universidade Aberta, 1995 ; R. Hamilton, Literatura africana, literatura necessária, I, Angola, Lisbon, Edições 70, 1975 ; A. Margarido Estudos sobre literaturas das nações africanas de língua portuguesa, Lisbon, A Regra do Jogo, 1980.

22 M. Ferreira, Literaturas africanas de expressão portuguesa, I, Lisbon, Ministério da Educação e Cultura, 1977: 16.

23 A.J. Saraiva & Ò. Lopes, História…, op. cit. : 1129.

24 Thus, according to the authors of the chapter on Regionalistas, the narrative of a range of their books is considered to be of no interest at all and thus in this respect very similar to colonial literature, História da Literatura Portuguesa. As Correntes Contemporâneas : 145-183. It should also be noted that in this chapter a number of colonial authors are included, such as Julião Quintinha and Brito Camacho who won the Prémio da Literatura Colonial in 1928 and 1926 respectively, but with very peripheral references to their colonial production.

25 Rui Knopfli quoted in F. Noa, op. cit.: 43.

26 Cf. B. de Sousa Santos, “Entre Próspero e Caliban”, in M.I. Ramalho & A. Sousa Ribeiro (eds), Entre ser e estar, Raízes, Percursos e discursos da identidade, Porto, Edições Afrontamento, 2001: 54-55.

27 25 R. Junior, Sehura, Lisbon, [no editor], 1944.

28 R. Junior, Muende, Lourenço Marquês, [no editor],1960.

29 R. Junior, O Branco da Motase, Lisbon, [no editor], 1952.

30 Quite an ambivalent position: the Portuguese regime officially accepted miscegenation but unofficially this practice was banned: “Only at one point must we be rigorous in terms of racial separation: concerning intermarriages and accidental crossings between white and black, the souce of serious disturbances in the social life of the Europeans and are indigenous people and motive of serious problems of miscegenation, serious, I say, if not biologically, […] at least sociologically”, M. Caetano, “Comunicação à Colónia de Moçambique, por intermédio do ‘Rádio Clube local’, 1945”, in A. Barradas, Ministros da Noite – livro negro da expansão portuguesa, Lisbon, Antígona, 1993. Junior's ambivalent position is also expressed in the fact that, even in his latest works, he never defends lusotropicalismo: Gilberto Freyre's famous concept claiming the benevolent and cosmopolitanism dimension of the Portuguese colonialism. In Junior's opinion Freyre went too far in his appraisal of the indigenous Brazilian population (R. Junior, Aventura do Mato e Colonizacão Dirigida, Lisbon [no editor], 1946.

31 F. Noa, op. cit.: 28. See also L. Hutcheon, op. cit.: 20.

32 B. de Sousa Santos, op. cit.: 57.

33 E. Saíd, Culture and Imperialism, London, Vintage, 1994: xxi.

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Ingemai Larsen, « Silenced Voices », Lusotopie, XIII(2) | 2006, 59-69.

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Ingemai Larsen, « Silenced Voices », Lusotopie [En ligne], XIII(2) | 2006, mis en ligne le 10 avril 2016, consulté le 16 septembre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/lusotopie/1395

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Ingemai Larsen

University of Copenhagen, Institute of English, German and Romance Languages. Department of Portuguese

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