Edited By Fernando Beleza and Simon Park
Part I: Intersections
Part I Intersections Fernando Cabral Martins Mário de Sá-Carneiro: Intersectionist ‘Novela Romântica’: A Paradox Although the traditions of Romanticism and Symbolism endure in the writing of Sá-Carneiro, there are fundamental aspects of them that evolve. It is for this reason that, right from Dispersão (1913) [Dispersal] to his final poems, Sá-Carneiro can be read alongside the avant-garde of his age. This is the primary paradox of his work: it preserves a given tradition whilst also breaking with it. And it is this paradox that fuels the strangeness and sophis- tication of his imagination. Indeed, after the revolution of Paulismo that resulted from his dialogue with Fernando Pessoa and which is documented in their published correspondence from 1913–14, experimental tendencies emerge in Sá-Carneiro’s work that lead him to become an Intersectionist, combining his more experimental style with certain nineteenth-century, Romantic, and Decadent traits.1 Sá-Carneiro’s avant-garde qualities manifest themselves above all in what I call his ‘geometric imagination’ and in his syntactic inventive- ness. They coalesce in one of the underlying themes of his work, that of impossibility: the impossibility of communication with the Other and the impossibility of attaining the Ideal. Two very Romantic ideas indeed. If we compare Sá-Carneiro with the ultra-Romantic Soares de Passos, for instance, we see that the theme of the unattainable ideal and the flight 1 For more on this artistic dialogue, see Cartas de Mário de Sá-Carneiro a Fernando Pessoa, ed. Manuela Parreira...
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