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Intersecting Diaspora Boundaries

Portuguese Contexts

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Edited By Irene Maria F. Blayer and Dulce Maria Scott

This collection of essays provides both critical and interdisciplinary means for thinking across diasporic travels within the Portuguese experience and its intersection with other peoples and cultures. The chapters are organized into four sections and offer rich, diverse, and insightful studies that provide a conceptualization of the Portuguese diaspora with special attention to the importance of cross-cultural interferences and influences. Within this framework, and from a variety of perspectives, some of the chapters depict identity-formation paths among Portuguese Jews and Luso-Indians in Australia, as well as the historical, cultural, and literary interplay among Portuguese and other diasporas in Goa, the West Indies, and Brazil. Other chapters analyze Portuguese-American literature and poetry, whereby the intersection of memory, dual identity, and place are meticulously explored. The last section of the book addresses Portuguese writers and poets who lived through (in)voluntary exile or were dislocated to Europe and Asia, and how their diasporic conditions interface with their textualized narratives. Place and memory as means of reconstructing a fragmented existence, in the writings of exiled writers, are also explored. The volume closes with a chapter on Portuguese illegal migration to France. The studies herein open new lines of inquiry into diaspora studies.
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Chapter Eleven: Shadows and Radiance: The Collapsed Borders

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CHAPTER  ELEVEN

Shadows AND Radiance

The Collapsed Borders

TERESA ALVES

 

Late Rapturous (2012), Frank X. Gaspar’s fifth volume of poems, may take by surprise his regular reader, used as he has been to the ebb and flow of lines patterned upon irregular length and rhythm, distinctive of his earlier poetry, especially from Mass for the Grace of a Happy Death (1995) onwards. Instead, he will find the apparent blurring of borders between verse and prose by leisurely sprawling lines across the page, now and then breaking into minor indents as if the right margins were not justified or the poet’s ample breath, like the ripple of a wave, would halt just for the tiniest split of a second before rushing into the remaining tide of words. The intention to take poetry into experimental fields of varying rhythms is, however, very much ingrained in Gaspar’s previous poetic practice and announced in this collection by the choice of a title supporting a cluster of meanings, which, similarly to the titles of the earlier volumes, will act as the force of gravity for the inside poems. Late Rapturous signals, indeed, both a state of mind and a painterly style, which in the title poem is revealed as De Kooning’s, and of which the reader is aware mainly through the poet’s emotional response when he looks at those paintings and his gaze is returned to us: “What / I needed...

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