In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviewed by:
  • Moçambique: Das palavras escritas
  • Maria Tavares
Ribeiro, Margarida Calafate and Maria Paula Meneses, eds. Moçambique: Das palavras escritas. Porto: Edições Afrontamento, 2008. 243 pp.

Moçambique: Das palavras escritas is a collection of essays that deal with the complex relationship between literature and history within the Mozambican context. Departing from the premise that literature is a privileged place for the problematization of the history of mankind and, consequently, of the various communities that compose it, the work presents a collection of reflections on Mozambican identities and on the history of the geocultural space as they are portrayed in the Mozambican literary system. As the work's title advances, the collection directs us to the particularity of the Portuguese language universe, which, in turn, invokes the various experiences that comprise the Mozambican cultural spectrum. The book successfully presents multiple perspectives on the Mozambican cultural nation, a multiplicity that finds echo in both the composition of the geocultural space and the particularities of its literary production. Representing the fruit of the "Curso de Formação de Literatura Moçambicana," which took place at the Centro de Estudos Sociais of the Universidade de Coimbra, and gathering the voices of scholars from different academic backgrounds and from distinct latitudes, the readings that Moçambique: Das palavras escritas puts forward not only demonstrate that the selected literary works "vão questionando uma historiografia de sentido único" (12), but are also themselves representative of the profusion of perspectives that the work aims at.

The fourteen articles that constitute the collection are preceded by an introduction entitled "Cartografias literárias incertas" in which the editors contextualize the compilation, assuming its focus on Mozambican writing in Portuguese to the detriment of oral literature and literary productions in other languages, stressing its emphasis on alternative and innovative literary projects that contribute to a more diversified knowledge of Mozambican social reality, and disclosing its intention of providing readings by academics and writers that illustrate how the geocultural and social space of Mozambique is portrayed in the present. The editors also describe the three sections of the volume: the first section is composed of three texts that analyze Mozambican literature as an open system; the second section englobes the eight texts that follow, which either approach a specific historical period or literary production of given [End Page 201] writers; finally, the three last texts of the book form the third section, presenting works by three Mozambican writers.

Fátima Mendonça's article "Literaturas emergentes, identidades e cânone" is the opening chapter. The author analyzes the reception of Mozambican literature diachronically, simultaneously exploring the limits to its emergence as a literary canon. Departing from the problematization of the post-colonial concept of "emerging literatures," Mendonça focuses on the fact that these literatures represent processes of rupture with the colonial entity, which materialize into new literary systems. Yet, the author continues, the affirmation of these systems depends on their critical reception and integration in the educational system. Mendonça demonstrates how the interconnected conditions of recognition created in Mozambique fail to provide the literary system with the necessary visibility and stability to become canonical, a tendency that can only be remedied through the emergence of a new critical paradigm.

In his article "Literatura moçambicana: Os trilhos e as margens," Francisco Noa proposes a chronological framework for Mozambican literature, in which it emerges inextricably linked with historical and social contexts. Noa identifies three main periods in this periodization. The first period starts at the beginning of the twentieth century, with the assimilados' valuable input, and runs until the first half of the 1960s, with the appearance of the literature of combat. The second period, which is considered to be transitional, extends from the mid-60s until the mid-80s. Finally, the third period begins in the mid-80s, with the creation of AEMO (Associação de Escritores Moçambicanos) and of the magazine Charrua, and runs until the present.

Ana Mafalda Leite, in "Tópicos para uma história da literatura moçambicana," departs from Antonio Candido's theorization, with reference to Brazilian literature, which differentiates literature and literary manifestations. Hence, Leite advances several topics...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 201-204
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.