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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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7. Narrative Frames: Fialho de Almeida, Branquinho da Fonseca, Mário Braga and João de Araújo Correia – Landscape in Rural Space


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7.  Narrative Frames: Fialho de Almeida, Branquinho da Fonseca, Mário Braga and João de Araújo Correia – Landscape in Rural Space

1.  Introduction

The short story, or more accurately short narrative prose, is by definition a picture that reveals and witnesses, important moments in the cultural and social scenery of a certain age or period (Poe, 1847; May, 1984; Cortazar, 1974). Written representations of a landscape are symbolic images that contribute to a better knowledge of the landscape they describe, and may also change their meaning, by adding another level of cultural representation to the initial space. Foucault points out that in all cultures and civilizations there are real places, kinds of counter-places where all the other places we find in culture are simultaneously represented, refuted and inverted, places that are out of all places – heterotopies (Foucault, 1967). From the literary criticism point of view, Hillis Miller (1995) brings a fundamental contribution to this theme: he starts with Heidegger’s phenomenology and his notions about the way the work of art takes root in the ground and in the landscape (Miller, 1995), to study the topographic description function in novels and poems and to understand the function of topographic terms in philosophical critical thinking. But before this, based on humanity’s gaze over its position on the land from which it springs, but exploring in more detail the literary rhetoric related to the idea of place, Leonard Lutwack (1984) had, in a...

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