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The Literary Institution in Portugal since the Thirties

An Analysis under Special Consideration of the Publishing Market

Margarida Rendeiro

Despite the numerous studies of the politics, economy, culture, and society of the Estado Novo, the relations established between publishers, authors, and governmental institutions and their contribution to the making of the literary canon are still marginal subjects of analysis. Based on the systems theories developed by Bourdieu, Dubois and Even-Zohar, this study focuses on the cultural production produced during the Estado Novo (1933-1974) and after the Revolution (1974-2004), within their political, economic and social framework. The chapters on José Saramago and José Luís Peixoto show them as examples of literary consecration that confirm the systemic relations in the Portuguese literary field. This research makes use of a survey on habits of purchase of Portuguese fiction, interviews with publishers, original statistical analyses, and takes a new approach to the study of Portuguese literature.

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Abstract 11

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11 Abstract The dissertation aims to show that the Estado Novo (1933-1974) influenced the constitution of the Portuguese literary canon and the positioning of Portuguese literary producers in the domestic and foreign book markets. Despite the numerous studies of the politics, economy, culture, and society of the Estado Novo, the development of the Portuguese publishing market, the relations established between publishers, authors, and Governmental insti- tutions and their contribution to the making of the literary canon are still marginal subjects of analysis. The research is based on the systems theories developed by Pierre Bourdieu, Jacques Dubois, and Itamar Even-Zohar and it makes use of a survey on habits of purchase of Portuguese fiction, interviews with publishers, original statistical analyses, and takes a new approach to the study of Portuguese literature. I suggest that the degree of autonomy of the Portuguese literary field has been compromised due to its close dependence on the political, economic, and social fields. The Estado Novo moulded the Portuguese readership through the implementation of an educational policy that met the Regime’s needs of emasculation of subversive thinking. This purpose had an effect on Portuguese publishing and on the positioning of Portu- guese literature abroad, and this influence continued after 1974. Despite literary consecration being fundamentally oriented to- wards the Neo-Realist literature and towards authors who were not approved of by the Estado Novo, the Revolution did not in- troduce greater autonomy into the Portuguese literary field. Editorial Caminho’s skilful use of contexts and management of the...

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