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CIELA Interdisciplinary Guest Talk Series

Rostos de Macau / Facets of Macau


This speech seeks to show that, in the unfinished story of A Quinta Essência [The Fifth Essence], written by Agustina Bessa-Luis, contradictory and mysterious memories of Macau are put into circulation along the path of a protagonist, who in conflict with himself, reflects on the impossibility of knowing the world. The self-reflective narrative, full of anachronisms and fusion of diegetic levels, presents China as a desired “other”, permeated with crossed imagery. The main purpose of this communication is to verify how the intersections of these imaginary points to the possible meanings of Luso-Chinese contacts at the same time that erase the organization of Portugal’s old colonial records. The relations between fiction and history, typical of historiographical metafiction could multiply the meanings of understanding about Macau.

Keywords: Contemporary Portuguese Fiction; Macau in the Portuguese Language Literature; Postmodern Portuguese Literature; Colonial Archives and Fiction; Macau’s literature.


Short Bio Mônica Simas

Professor Simas is a Portuguese Literature Professor in the University of Sao Paulo (USP-SP), Brazil. She had her Master and Doctorate’s degree in Portuguese Literature from PUC-Rio. There, she has taught in graduation and post graduation programs until 2003. In the University of Sao Paulo, she actually coordinates the LIA (Laboratory of Intersections with Asia) with the Professor Ho Yeh Chia from the Department of Orient Studies. She has published extensively on Macau Portuguese Literature and related topics. Beyond that she also has some publications about contemporary Portuguese poetry.