Portuguese Modern and Contemporary Literature I
Cod: 53037
Department: DH
ECTS: 15
Scientific area: Portuguese Literature
Total working hours: 390
Total contact time: 60

This curricular unit chooses the Portuguese novel as its theme and aims to develop a double reflection on: (i) the literary genre itself and the formal changes on which it is successively renewed; (ii) the dialogue that the novel weaves with reality, conveying in that dialogue a particular vision of man and the world. This reflection is based on the critical reading of three examples of the Portuguese novel, each of them illustrating significant moments of both the reality they narrate and, by unavoidable contamination, the paths of the genre itself: "A cidade e as serras", by Eça de Queirós (1901), "A noite e o riso", by Nuno Bragança (1969), and "Parasceve. Puzzles e ironias", by Maria Gabriela Llansol (2001).

Novel – Genre theory – 19th to 21st Centuries – Reality and Writing

— To organize the study of modern and contemporary Portuguese literature according to literary forms and/or themes, enabling in this way an effective approach from a scientific and pedagogical viewpoint to a relatively broad aesthetic-literary period.

— To develop critical thinking and scientifically based research skills on the different subject-matter.

— To develop communication, presentation and articulation skills to identify and elaborate on themes as well as conceptual and aesthetical questions drawn from modern and contemporary Portuguese literature.

— To promote the ability to autonomously conceive, plan and carry out a major, innovative research project in accordance with academic high quality standards.

— To promote knowledge dissemination practice, be it in the academic context or directed to the community in general.

This curricular unit chooses the novel as the subject-matter under analysis and study. This option is based on the fact that the form of the novel proves to be an elaborate representation tool, with its peculiar tendency to question the world, offering new and often surprising readings of reality. It is also based on the fact that the novel shows an immense vitality, surviving the many transformations it has suffered between the nineteenth chentury (the so-called "golden age of the novel") and this day and age.

1. The Realist novel – reflections: Eça de Queirós' A cidade e as serras (1901)

1.1 – Identities and worlds

1.2 – Reality and representation

2. The modern novel – metamorphoses: Nuno Bragança's A noite e o riso. Tríptico (1969)

2.1 – The world in disorder

2.2 – Plot and character

3. The contemporary novel – subversions: Maria Gabriela Llansol's Parasceve. Puzzles e ironias (2001)

3.1 – The (un)knowing of the world

3.2 – Writing as search

Below are given basic theoretic bibliographical references. Specific material is shared and worked on throughout the seminar.

Arnaut, Ana Paula – Post-Modernismo no romance português contemporâneo. Coimbra: Almedina, 2002.

Cohn, Dorrit – La transparence intérieure. Modes de représentation de la vie psychique dans le roman. Traduit de l'anglais par Alain Bony. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1981.

Hutchon, Linda – Poética do Pós-Modernismo. Rio de Janeiro: Imago, 1991.

Lourenço, António Apolinário, Santana, Maria Helena, e Simões, Maria João (Coord.) – O século do romance. Realismo e Naturalismo na ficção oitocentista. Coimbra: Centro de Literatura Portuguesa, 2013.

Tadié, Jean-Yves – O romance no século XX. Lisboa: Dom Quixote, 1992.


Evaluation is focused on written reports and on the participation in the debates throughout the semester, as well as on the elaboration of a final research paper on a subject chosen by the student.