Carlos Ceia, in his article, "Modernism, Joyce, and Portuguese Literature," discusses parallels between James Joyce's work and texts by modernist and contemporary Portuguese novelists such as Antunes, Brandão, Negreiros, Pessoa, Saramago, Sá-Carneiro, Silva Ramos, and Velho da Costa. In his analysis, Ceia focuses on the role of myth, the notion of the (anti-)hero, the solipsism of interior consciousness, narrative techniques, and linguistic experimentation. Ceia argues that while it is impossible to detect direct influence by Joyce on Portuguese writers, it is in the context of the parallel paradigms of modernism we are able to discover the Joycean impact on both modernist and contemporary Portuguese literature. For example, in Velho da Costas novel Casas Pardas, the author's fictionalization of the stream-of-consciousness mode of narrative is innovative because it goes beyond Ulysses's Molly Bloom's exemplary discourse and the modernist pattern for self-reflexivity. The post-modern novelist is obsessed with the mastering of fictional discourse and with the fictional discourses of his/her literary heritage and thus, in order to achieve this, the novel has turned into metafiction, metafiction has turned into discontinuities, and textuality has turned into intertextual relations with well-known works of art of the past. Joyce and his experimental novels opened up new possibilities and vistas to literature and Ceia argues that it is in this sense and context we should understand the impact/influence of Joyce's work and of modernism in modern and contemporary Portuguese literature.
"Modernism, Joyce, and Portuguese Literature."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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