Portuguese literature, the literature of Portugal, the development of which began with the secession of the Kingdom of Portugal from Castile-León (1139/40).
It is strongly influenced by the geographic location of the country. For centuries, the preferred genre was lyric poetry, which continues to enjoy an unusually high level of importance among the Portuguese public to the present day.
Important works of Portuguese literature (selection)
- Cancioneiros (12th-14th centuries; collections of early Galician-Portuguese poetry of Provencal origin)
- G. Vicente: “Farsa de Inês Pereira” (first performance 1523; German “Inés Pereira. Eine Posse”; Schwank)
- A. Ferreira: “Tragédia muy sentida e elegant de Dona Inês de Castro” (written around 1558, published in 1587; tragedy)
- F. de Sá de Miranda: »Poesias« (1595; poetry)
- L. Vaz de Camões: “Os Lusíades” (1572; German “Die Lusiaden”; epic)
- F. M. de Melo: “Auto do fidalgo aprendiz” (1665; comedy)
- M. M. Barbosa du Bocage: Sonnets
- A. Herculano de Carvalho e Araújo: “A voz do propheta” (1836; collection of poetry)
- J. B. da Silva Leitão de Almeida Garrett: “Frei Luís de Sousa” (1844; German “Manuel de Sousa”; drama)
- C. Castelo Branco: “Amor de perdição” (1862; German “The fate of love”; novel)
- J. M. Eça de Queirós: “Os Maias” (1888; German “Die Maias”; novel)
- F. A. Pessoa: »Mensagem« (1934; German »Esoteric Poems«), »Livro do desassossego« (published in 1982; German »The Book of Unrest of the Assistant Accountant Bernardo Soares«; prose)
- A. Ribeiro: “Quando os lobos uivam” (1958; German “When the wolves howl”; novel)
- F. Namora: “Domingo à tarde” (1961; German “Sunday afternoon”; novel)
- J. Saramago: »História do cerco de Lisboa« (1989; German »History of the Siege of Lisbon«; novel)
- A. L. Antunes: “Manual dos Inquisidores” (1997; German “Das Handbuch der Inquisitoren”; Roman)
Middle Ages (12th – 15th centuries)
Since it developed late in relation to the other Romance literatures, according to educationvv, Portuguese literature does not know of any heroic epic in the manner of the French Chansons de Geste and the Spanish “Cid”. It experienced its first heyday between the 12th and 14th centuries with the Galician-Portuguese poetry (Galician language and literature) inspired by French-Provencal models and influenced by Provencal poets, which is preserved in the Cancioneiros with around 3,000 songs. Kings and knights, but also minstrels and citizens were the poets, around 200 names have been passed down. One of the oldest poets is King Sancho I (* 1154, † 1211), among the best are João Garcia de Guilhade (1st half of the 13th century) and King Dinis. There are three main genres in Galician-Portuguese poetry: formulaic, closely Provencal models, “Cantigas de amor” (love songs in which the poet woos his lady), “Cantigas d’escarnho e de mal dizer” (satirical-burlesque Mockery and rebuke songs) and “Cantigas de amigo” (songs of friends), which probably continued a down-to-earth folk tradition; her subject is the woman’s complaint about her distant or unfaithful friend. From a formal point of view, the chorus and verse parallelism are remarkable. – Proud of the warlike achievements, first voyages of discovery and the beginning consolidation of national consciousness produced the first historiographical works in prose around the middle of the 14th century, first genealogical registers of nobility (»Livros de linhagens«, around 1270) and chronicles (including “Crónica geral de Espanha de 1344”); The chronicles written after the victory over the Castilians in Aljubarrota (Estremadura) in 1385 are more extensive. The royal chronicles of the court historian have a high literary rank F. Lopes on. In addition, a.o. Vitae of saints, collections of examples (“Orto do esposo”), ascetic and religiously instructive writings, a Troy and a Grail novel based on French sources. The fantastic chivalric novel “Amadís de Gaula”, which was probably written in Portugal before 1325, has only survived in the Spanish version from 1508 (Amadis von Gaula). – After the Galician-Portuguese poetry went out of fashion, a courtly occasional poem based on the Spanish model that was inclined to playful forms and also conveyed Italian influences (Dante, F. Petrarca)was cultivated from around 1450. G. de Resende presented a collection of this multifaceted poetry from 1450 to 1510 in his Cancioneiro geral (1516).
Renaissance and Humanism (16th Century)
The period of greatest political power development under Emanuel I up to the defeat of Ksar el-Kebir (1578), which was followed by the personal union with Spain (1580–1640), was also the epoch of the highest literary creativity. Gil Vicente, whose stage work combines religiosity with popular elements, is considered the founder of the Portuguese drama. His mystery games and morality point beyond their Spanish models and in turn influenced the development of the Spanish car sacramental. J. Ferreira de Vasconcelos broke away completely from medieval theater with his prose comedy “Eufrósina” (1555), inspired by the Spanish “Celestina”. The decisive turn to humanism took place around the middle of the 16th century F. de Sá de Miranda, author of the first classical comedy (“Os estrengeiros”, published 1559), and A. Ferreira, who wrote the first classical tragedy (“Tragédia muy sentida e elegant de Dona Inês de Castro”) 1558, published 1587). – Sá de Miranda also renewed the poetry: he performed the »Estilo novo«, d. H. new forms from Italy (including sonnet, octave, canzone), without neglecting the old Portuguese and Spanish forms. – I. Sannazaro ‘s shepherd novel »Arcadia« (1504) imitated J. de Montemayor (Portuguese: Montemor) in Spanish after (“Los siete libros de la Diana”, 1559, unfinished); B. Ribeiro created an original psychologizing variant of the shepherd novel with “Hystoria de menina e moca” (published in 1554). The “Palmeirim de Inglaterra” (1544?; first surviving Portuguese version 1567) by F. de Morais is an imitation of the Amadi novel. – Sea voyages and conquests led to a flowering of historiography (J. de Barros, “Décadas”, has been published only the part »Ásia«, 1552–63, 3 volumes, volume 4 published in 1615). The conquest of India was described by Gaspar Correia (* 1495?, † 1565?), F. Lopes de Castanheda and D. de Góis. Out of numerous country descriptions, diaries, etc. stands out astonishing life report of the adventurer F. Mendes Pinto, which is a literary mixture of truth and invention (»Peregrinaçam«, written 1570–78, published 1614; German »Abentheuerliche Reisen«, 2 volumes). The dominant figure in Portuguese literature of the 16th century was L. Vaz de Camões, whose historical epic “Os Lusíadas” (1572; German “Die Lusiaden”) about Portuguese history from its mythical origins to Vasco da Gama’s journeys was eloquent expression of the Portuguese national feeling. By L. Camoes also some of the most beautiful Petrarchan sonnets of world literature come.
Baroque and Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries)
Promoted by the close relations with Spain, the baroque style was imitated in all genres, as it was v. a. by the Spaniard L. de Góngora y Argote and the Italian G. Marino had become exemplary. Among the poets, F. Rodrigues Lobo, who introduced the Spanish art romance, and v. a. F. M. de Melo. His “Auto do fidalgo aprentiz” (published 1665) continued the comedy G. Vicentes. FM Melo was also important as a historian. The historiography also includes the names of Frei L. de Sousa and Frei António Brandão (* 1584, † 1637) noteworthy: the latter wrote the most reliable parts of the monumental historical work »Monarquia lusitana« (1597–1727) published by the monks of Alcobaça. The “História trágico-marítima” by Bernardo Gomes de Brito (* 1688, † after 1759), a collection of reports on ship disasters, is in the tradition of seafaring books. The religious, moral and didactic prose flourished with the letters and sermons of the Jesuit A. Vieira and the collection of sentences by Manuel Bernardes (* 1644, † 1710).
Against the now outlived baroque fashion, the “Arcádia Lusitana” (or “Arcádia Ulissiponense”) was founded in 1756, which became a gathering point for neoclassical movements. They orientated themselves on the French Enlightenment and the English philosophers: Luís Antonio Verney (* 1713, † 1792) wrote writings on the “method of learning” (he also called for the education of women), José Anastácio da Cunha (* 1744, † 1787) translated A. Pope and Voltaire, the Marquesa de Alorna (Alcipe) and others. C. M. Wieland, J. Thomson, T. Gray. The enthusiasm for the natural sciences was reflected in numerous didactic poems. M. M. Barbosa du Bocage, celebrated as a sonnet poet, already heralded Romanticism with his subjective, world-painful poetry. M. de Figueiredo and D. dos Reis Quita attempted to reform the theater according to the principles of the »Arcádia Lusitana«. Eighteenth-century prose was limited to science and criticism.
Romanticism and Realism (19th Century)
Romanticism began relatively late in Portugal. In addition to poetry, the main genres were the historical novel and the historical drama based on the example of W. Scott and V. Hugo. It started with the epic »Camões« (1825; German »Camoens«) by J. B. da Silva Leitão de Almeida Garrett, also founder of the Portuguese national theater. His drama “Frei Luís de Sousa” (1844; German “Manuel de Sousa”) is considered one of the highlights of European romantic theater, with his work “Viagens na minha terra” (1846; German “The monk of Santarem or walks in mine Fatherland ”), in which he combines autobiographical, essayistic and fictional elements, he marked the beginning of modern prose in Portugal. With the poetry collection “A voz do propheta” (1836) by A. Herculano de Carvalho e Araújo, who was also an important historian, the romantic conception of art finally prevailed. With the novels by C. Castelo Branco and J. Dinis Here too, Portuguese literature caught up with European developments. As a poet and translator (including Shakespeare, Molière, Goethe), A. F. de Castilho had a considerable influence on literary life. In contrast, a new generation of authors arose: the anti-clerical and anti-romantic »Generation of 1870«, who gathered in Coimbra and took positivist and realistic positions under the leadership of A. T. de Quental, J. M. Eça de Queirós and J. T. Fernandes Braga. Her manifesto is the open letter “Bom-senso e bom-gusto” (1865) from Quental to Castilho. Models were now H. de Balzac, G. Flaubert, also É. Zola. Realism finally took hold with the novels “O crime do Padre Amaro” (1876; German: “The crime of Father Amaro”) and “O primo Basílio” (1878; German “Vetter Basilio”) by the most important Portuguese novelist of the century, Eça de Queirós, through. – A renewal of the lyric brought the spiritualistic, speculative poetry of Quental. The anti-clerical and at the same time metaphysically committed, nationally pathos-filled satirical poet and naturalist A. M. de Guerra Junqueiro inspired the traditionalism of Portuguese literature in the 20th century.