Portuguese Modern and Contemporary Literature II
Cod: 53038
Department: DH
ECTS: 15
Scientific area: Portuguese Literature
Total working hours: 390
Total contact time: 60

The taught content is subdivided into five modules. The modules are guided by function transversal key objectives: ability to perform (autonomously, with analytical capacity) research work, selection of bibliographic information and systematization of reading topics in the area of modernist studies (with special emphasis on Fernando Pessoa, Mário de Sá-Carneiro) and also to some of leading Portuguese poets of the twentieth and early twenty-first century (Mário Cesariny, E. M. de Mello e Castro, Herberto Helder, Alexandre O'Neill, António Ramos Rosa, Ruy Belo, Natália Correia, Eugénio de Andrade, Al Berto e Gastão Cruz). The capabilities to research, lecture and evaluate the acquired knowledge are developed throughout the semester in each activity (where each student interacts and collaborates with other colleagues in online debates). These debates are complemented with the development of various scientific works of literary criticism and a final work of medium-sized research.

Modernism; Surrealism; Experimentalism; Fernando Pessoa; Contemporary poetry.

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

- understand the sociocultural context and the literary trends that characterized the late nineteenth and early twentieth century;

- explain the literary and aesthetic Fernando Pessoa’s process;

- evaluate the ideological and literary discourse of Orpheus magazine and the literary lines in the work of orphic poets;

- understand the programmatic principles, praxis and the recovery of the orphic poets by the Presence group;

- evaluate the aesthetic and social implications of futurist and surrealistic texts;

- structure the historical-literary evolution of Portuguese poetry and the suture/rupture relations between the various literary manifestations in the last half of the 20th century (experimental poetry, colonial literature, the poetry of the late 20th century, and the beginning of the 21st century);

- Understand the meaning of the real and the subjective of contemporary poetry;

to judge the legacy of Fernando Pessoa.

  • Portuguese modernism and the Orpheu Generation: contextualization and dialogical readings;
  • Fernando Pessoa and heteronyms;
  • Presence and recovery of the Orphic poets;
  • Surrealism (s) and the relationship between individual and collectivity;
  • From Experimental Poetry to the late 20th century poetry (a historical-literary view);
  • The sense of the real and the sense of the subjective of contemporary poetry;
  • The legacy of Fernando Pessoa.



AAVV - Um Século de Poesia (1888-1988) — A Phala (1988). Lisboa: Assírio e Alvim.

Castro, E. M. de Melo e (1987). As Vanguardas na Poesia Portuguesa do Século XX. 2ª ed. Lisboa: Instituto de Cultura e Língua Portuguesa.

Coelho, J. P (2007). Diversidade e unidade em Fernando Pessoa. Lisboa: Verbo [reimp].

Lourenço, E. (2011). Fernando, Rei da nossa Baviera. Lisboa: Gradiva.

Reis, C. (2005). História Crítica da Literatura Portuguesa — Do Neo-Realismo ao Post-Modernismo. Lisboa: Verbo, Vol. IX.

Vila Maior, D. (2003). O Sujeito Modernista — Fernando Pessoa, Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Almada Negreiros e António Ferro: Crise e Superação do Sujeito. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta.

Vila Maior, D. (2018). Sob o signo de Calíope. Sentidos Modernistas. Roma: Ed. Aracne.

Vila Maior, D. (2021). Il Modernismo Portoghese. Guida alla lettura con antologia selezionata. Roma: Ed. Aracne.

Vila Maior, D. (2021). Literatura Portuguesa Moderna e Contemporânea em Contexto Universitário de E-learning. Porto: Ed. Esgotadas.

Vila Maior, D. (2023). Fernando Pessoa: o Ser Verbal. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda.

NOTE: The active bibliography will be mentioned at the beginning of each activity.


Assessment includes the completion of assignments and regular and relevant participation in the various forums throughout the semester.

Bibliography in English, French, Spanish, and Italian may be indicated and/or distributed.