A Comparative European Perspective
Part III Contemporary Iberia: Plural Identities and Artistic Representation
Ângela Fernandes Iberian and Romance Identities: Literary Representations of the Centre and the Margins The place of an Iberian cultural identity within the Romance world seems to be a rather neglected issue, probably due to its scarcely controversial potential nowadays. The discussion of a Romance identity, with its roots in Roman classical culture and the Latin language, lost most of its allure during the twentieth century, as new topics of geocultural tension became more relevant. The Romance background is nevertheless an essential clue to understand Iberian cultures. Therefore, my aim is to ref lect upon Iberian and Romance cultural identities, considering not only the Latin matrix of the Western world but also the literary dimension of such powerful ideas and images. The novel Um Deus Passeando pela Brisa da Tarde [A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening], published in 1994 by the Portuguese author Mário de Carvalho (b. 1944), will be the main point of departure for this ref lection, as it portrays some key issues connected with the con- cepts of Roman identity and Iberian dif ference. Moreover, we may find in this novel the debate over the relationship between the centre and the margins – in geographical, cultural and symbolic terms – as well as the discussion of the status of borderline locations, which is rather significant when considering the Iberian Peninsula. In order to delve further into this question, two other Portuguese narratives will also be considered: the opening story of the 1935 essay Pyrene, by...
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