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Postcolonial Nation and Narrative III: Literature & Cinema

Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé e Príncipe

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Edited By Ana Mafalda Leite, Hilary Owen, Ellen Sapega and Carmen Tindó Secco

This volume investigates literary and cinematographic narratives from Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe, analysing the different ways in which social and cultural experience is represented in postcolonial contexts. It continues and completes the exploration of the postcolonial imaginary and identity of Portuguese-speaking Africa presented in the earlier volume Narrating the Postcolonial Nation: Mapping Angola and Mozambique (2014).

Memory, history, migration and diaspora are core notions in the recreation and reconceptualization of the nation and its identities in Capeverdian, Guinean and Saotomean literary and cinematographic culture. Acknowledging that the idea of the postcolonial nation intersects with other social, political, cultural and historical categories, this book scrutinizes written and visual representations of the nation from a wide range of inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives, including literary and film studies, gender studies, sociology, and post-colonial and cultural studies. It makes a valuable contribution to current debates on postcolonialism, nation and identity in these former Portuguese colonies.

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‘Eva das Mil Pessoas’: Politics and Hyper-sexuality in Germano Almeida’s Eva (Luís Madureira)

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Luís Madureira

‘Eva das Mil Pessoas’: Politics and Hyper-sexuality in Germano Almeida’s Eva1

abstract

This essay explores the fraught historical links between sexuality and politics through a reading of Cape Verdean novelist Germano Almeida’s Eva (2006). In Eva, the paradox between the unrepeatable instance and its incessant ‘iterability’ underpins the representation of two metaphorically linked domains of experience: politics and sexuality. It’s as if the novel’s four central characters remain trapped, either consciously or unconsciously, in a structure of desire that compels them to constantly reproduce the same actions in an effort to live out a singular, absolutely irreproducible experience. I suggest that this repetitive or compulsive performativity relates directly to a sustained interrogation of the contradictory and often precarious dialogic entanglements that inform the constitution (or ‘performance’) of Cape Verdean (national, racial, gender) identity within a broad cultural and geopolitical space that encompasses not only Portugal (as the former colonial power), but also Brazil and continental Africa. Thus, the novel consistently refuses (sometimes in problematic ways) to fix identity in unequivocal terms and blurs the corporeal signs of absolute alterity that we routinely imagine to be located in the bodies of ‘others’.

Eva by Germano Almeida narrativizes a prolonged dialogue between Reinaldo Tavares and Luís (Afonso) Henriques, two Cape Verdeans who meet by chance in Lisbon and spend hours on end together, between eating and drinking, discoursing on the object of their shared desire, a Portuguese woman who has...

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