The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.


The Later Eça Revisited

An International Colloquium on the Centennial of the Death of Eça de Queiroz

November 3 – 4, 2002

Over the last centruy the literary production of Eça de Queiroz (1845-1900), the foremost Portuguese novelist of the nineteenth century, has been divided into three distinct phases: the Romantic, the Realist-Naturalist and for, want of a better and more precise term, the Later Eça or the Decadent Phase. The second of these periods, which includes The Sin of Father Amaro (1875, 1876, 1880) and Cousin Bazilio (1878) already formed the nucleus of the Eça canon in the 1880s. Criticism in the 1945 centennial of his birth, consolidated the canon inherited from the nineteenth century. To the above-mentioned novels, The Maias (1888) was added as the culminating masterpiece of an established trilogy, through critical approaches often more political, sociological, and biographical than aesthetic. The Later Eça would continue, in critical terms, almost forgotten and/or relegated to inferior status (though esteemed largely by the political right before and during the Salazar regime). This critical perspective dominated throughout most of the remainder of the twentieth century, as exemplified by the opinion of a major novelist and critic, Vergílio Ferreira, in the 1980s, who defended the idea that the one work of Eça still relevant to the contemporary reader was The Maias. It has only been in the last decade or so that another critical attitude toward Eça's last works has begun to take center stage in Queirozian Studies.

The later works of the author, The Mandarin (1880), The Relic (1887), The Corres-pondence of Fradique Mendes (1990), The Illustrious House of Ramires (1990), The City and the Mountains (1901), and the short stories beginning with "A Lyrical Poet" (1880), constituted the focus of the discussions of this colloquium. The purpose was to reflect on an Eça who, asthetically and philosophically, is akin to Nietzsche, Freud, Wilde, Machado de Assis and other major authors of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The idea of Eça's later works as anticipations of Modernist and even Postmodernist writing were also explored. Included among the participants were many of the major figures in Portuguese letters today and some of the best known young intellectuals in Portuguese Studies worldwide.

Proceedings of the colloquium will be published by the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture as a volume of the Adamastor Book Series.

The colloquium was sponsored by the Luso-American Development Foundation, the UMD Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, the Camões Institute, teh Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the National Commission for the Commemoration of the Centennial of the Death of Eça de Queirós.

Please click here to view the program.