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Narrative and Space

Across Short Story Landscapes and Regional Places

Alda Correia

These eight texts deal with different perspectives on the relation between the regional short story, modernism and space. Seven of them concentrate on short prose (the short story and chronicle) and one deals with the novel. Four of them consider canonical pre-modernist and modernist Anglo-American authors and the other four Portuguese rustic and modernist short story writers. Their common point of departure is the notion that the representation of the world cannot be separated from its spatial context, and the effort to understand how space and landscape influenced the structure of narratives and were represented in some of them, mainly in short fiction. They draw attention to the importance of the underestimated regionalist short prose narratives, essentially from a comparative literary perspective, but also considering certain aspects of their social and cultural connections and dissonances.

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6. The City Manquée or Nostalgia for Another Place


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6.  The City Manquée or Nostalgia for Another Place

The self-affirmation of literary short prose or the short story as a literary genre in the modernist phase, which in Europe and in the United States developed mainly between the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century was not so clear in Portugal1. The most innovative writer of this period, though producing very little in the genre, is José de Almada Negreiros, who brings his experience as painter and poet to narrative2. But this does not mean that the short story was absent as a literary form with other characteristics, after the middle of the nineteenth century. Lopes (1990) writes three chapters about the periodical press in the cities and in the countryside. She focuses on literary periodicals and magazines, on periodicals for women, on the regionalist and ethnographic periodicals, though this categorization is artificial because, in most of the cases, these include articles on multiple subjects, among which literary and regional ones. Authors such as Teófilo Braga, Alberto Pimentel or Trindade Coelho, among others, reveal their interest in renewing native and traditional values, which results either in an absurd conservatism or in a nationalism and patriotism whose main lines will be resumed by the previously mentioned ultraconservative political movement of Integralismo Lusitano, started in 1914 with Hipólito Raposo and António Sardinha. At the same time, the literary periodicals published in the cities looked for...

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