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Mário de Sá-Carneiro, A Cosmopolitan Modernist

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Fernando Beleza and Simon Park

Although he committed suicide at the age of twenty-five, Mário de Sá-Carneiro left behind a rich corpus of texts that is inventive, playful, even daring. The first collection in English to be dedicated to his work, this volume brings together scholars from Portugal, Brazil, and the USA to reassess Sá-Carneiro’s contribution to Portuguese and European Modernism(s). In the book, established researchers and younger scholars delve into the complexities and paradoxes of his work, exploring not only the acclaimed novella Lucio’s Confession, but also his poetry, short fiction, and correspondence. Each essay engages in the necessary task of placing Sá-Carneiro’s work in a wider literary and artistic context, bringing back to his texts the creative energy of early twentieth-century Europe. Plural in their methods, the essays propose multiple lenses through which to tackle key aspects of Sá-Carneiro’s œuvre: his aesthetic and artistic influences and preoccupations; his negotiations/performances of identity; and the ways in which his work emerges in dialogue with other Modernist authors and how they in turn engage with his work. Though he is sometimes overshadowed by his more famous friend and artistic comrade, Fernando Pessoa, this collection shows just how much one misses, if one overlooks Sá-Carneiro and other writers of the Orpheu generation.

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Preface (Fernando Beleza and Simon Park)

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Fernando Beleza and Simon Park Preface This book started life as a panel at the Association of British and Irish Lusitanists conference in Oxford in 2013. It became clear to us after that short panel that exciting work was being done on Mário de Sá-Carneiro’s oeuvre and that he was an author regularly featuring on undergraduate and graduate syllabi in the UK and USA, though without a substantial amount of criticism being available in English. We decided, then, to bring together a group of scholars working in Portugal, the UK, and USA in a volume intended to tackle some of the most persistent themes in his work with fresh perspectives, all for the benefit of an Anglophone audience. Whilst Fernando Pessoa has found his way into the international Modernist mainstream, to many inside and outside of Portugal Sá-Carneiro remains something of a lone star on the literary horizon. But Portuguese Modernism was initiated by a constellation of writers and artists working in other media, who dialogued with each other and enriched each other’s artistic practice.1 One of the aims of this volume is to contribute to a broader understanding of the dynamics and complexities of the artistic world in early 1900s Portugal, by offering a reappraisal of Sá-Carneiro’s particular contribution to Portuguese and European Modernism(s). Additionally, we hope that by writing this volume in English we might help find more readers for his work beyond the Portuguese-speaking world, as he is a figure who built...

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