Literary and Political Appropriations of Eça de Queirós’s Work: a Contribution to the Study of Portuguese Literary Canon

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Over the past century Eça de Queirós has become part of the Portuguese literary canon. Whatever the perspective we take into account, Eça comes across as one of the most celebrated and discussed writers of Portuguese language.
As early as the late nineteenth century (with the first Spanish translations of his writings ), Eça’s work has been the object of a comparatively large and enthusiastic reception abroad, on a par only with Camões, Pessoa, and, most recently, Saramago. In 2000, the Camões commemorative issue of the death of the novelist registers (from 1975 onwards) more than forty-five translations in eighteen different languages and more than a hundred texts of critical appreciation in languages other than Portuguese .
Due to its
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The aura of outcast writer stemming from Ortigão’s words was obviously shaped by Eça’s literary debut: the romantic imagery of Prosas Bárbaras and the provocative effort of O Mistério da Estrada de Sintra and As Farpas. The first edition of O Crime do Padre Amaro was yet to be published – in 1875. However, it is this marginality of ideas and style the grounding on which his contemporary critics base their appreciation. If we focus on the testimonial period of Eça’s critical fortune (post-1900) or even on previous criticism, this suggestion is reinforced and enlarged by Eça’s first novels.
It is again Ramalho Ortigão who speaks of a blank scandal – ‘escândalo branco‘ – among readers and periodicals following the publication of O Crime do Padre Amaro. Ortigão claims that this was a deliberate silence meant to discourage a novelistic production clearly at odds with a tradition of innocuous writing, namely the sentimental romanticism of Camilo and the derogatively dubbed ‘tricot‘ writing of Júlio Dinis .
What was at stake in this friendly critique of Eça was not a matter of fact disregard for his writing. The provocative quality of his early work did not pass unnoticed and earned him a great amount of attention that perpetuated in time . The problem was that Eça was not part of the literary establishment as embodied by Castilho and Pinheiro Chagas, the guardians of the

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