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Sights from the South 7

Sights from the South 7
Capa: sights from the south 7

This is the seventh edition of Sights from the South - Portuguese Literature, the magazine published by the General Directorate for Books and Libraries (DGLB) to bring Portuguese writers to the attention of readers around the world.    

It aims to increase awareness of our Translation Support Programme, the success of which is seen year after year in the growing number of proposals that we receive from all over the world for the translation of Portuguese and Lusophone writers. We interpret this interest both as a signal of the universality of what is written in Portugal today and, above all, as a sign of the quality of many of our authors. As in previous volumes, in Sights from the South no. 7 we present a choice of poets and fiction writers, while adding a young playwright for the first time, as we hope to open a window onto the renewed vitality of theatrical texts from Portugal - texts that are closely linked to the production of stimulating shows and the country's lively dramatic arts scene.



In fiction we have selected excerpts from noveIs from 2009. All three exemplify contemporary narrative techniques that, while still telling a story and being anchored in the narrative traditions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, work with modes of narration to create differentiated styles and voices. The three fiction writers (João de MeIo, b. 1949; Dulce Maria Cardoso, b. 1964; Rui Zink, b. 1961) all established and respected writers, use structured techniques with what we can call narrative voice, suggesting new directions in their work and in the contemporary panorama of fiction in Portuguese. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that Dulce Maria Cardoso's novel Os meus sentimentos [My feelings] (2005) has just been awarded the European Union Prize for Literature 2009.

The poets introduced here, Daniel Jonas (b. 1973) and Manuel de Freitas (b. 1972), are heterodox voices in the rich context of Portuguese poetry, and for this reason: originals. Both were born in the early seventies and show a great interest in today's world. To portray it, they start from echoes of classic and modem poetry; their verses are freighted with cultural references, but retain a natural flow that is almost oral, making them accessible to any reader. There are recognizable references to music, painting, and Portuguese and international poetry, evincing a cosmopolitanism that is not mere decoration, rather it establishes the foundations for a knowledgeable and well-read writing, under the cover of a fluid discourse. These two poets are discrete, little seen in public - perhaps because what interests them is life's hidden side, the one that the most profound and beautiful poetry can express.

As for José Maria Vieira Mendes (b. 1976), the young playwright we wish to showcase, his work exemplifies the organic nature of contemporary theatre. He learnt as an insider, as a craftsman of its staging and texts, combining lessons learnt from classic playwrights with those of the greatest of today's writers to create his own voice, which is already experienced and perfectly visible.

This volume of Sights from the South, we can happily say, displays with clarity the great variety of directions which Portuguese literature is moving in today. The DGLB and the Ministry of Culture are therefore following one of the guiding principles of their mission: to make available to readers of the whole world the best that can be read in Portuguese today, on a leveI with the most vivid and solid literary expression from anywhere in the world.


© Sights from the South - PORTUGUESE LITERATURE 7  pdf