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.

Events - 2010

Lecture on Luís de Camões by Prof. John Fleming of Princeton University

"Luís de Camões: The Poet as Scriptural Exegete"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:00 PM.
Liberal Arts Building Room 397D (parking lot 1)

Free and open to the public

CamoesDartmouth, MA. The Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth announces a lecture entitled, “Luís de Camões: The Poet as Scriptural Exegete,” by Professor John Fleming of Princeton University. The lecture— free and open to the public—will be held in the Liberal Arts Building Room 397D (parking lot 1), on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:00 PM.

Just as Camões (1524?-1580) is the author of the most famous long poem in Portuguese literature, The Lusiads, so also is he the author of the most famous shorter poem—the redondilha sometimes called “Babylon and Zion” or, after its incipit, Sobolos rios—a highly complex meditative paraphrase of psalm 137, Super flumina Babylonis (“By the waters of Babylon”). In it the poet joined personal, artistic, literary, and spiritual themes with a deep Renaissance learning. The result is a brilliant act of scriptural exegesis in poetic form that has been called by one modern camonista “a Divina Commedia in miniature.” Certainly it is the poet’s most famous work apart from the Lusiads. His much younger Castilian contemporary and enthusiastic admirer, Lope de Vega, went so far as to call it “the pearl of all poetry.” John V. Fleming’s lecture will introduce the poem in relation both to its classical and Iberian models, and, in broader terms, in relation to the most fecund and widely practiced literary genre of the European Middle Ages: scriptural exegesis.
John V. Fleming is the Louis W. Fairchild Professor of English and Comparative Literature emeritus at Princeton University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a past president of the Medieval Academy of America. He has published extensively on the Roman de la Rose, on Geoffrey Chaucer, on the culture of the Franciscan Order in the Middle Ages, and on the Bible in medieval culture. His most recent book, The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books that Shaped the Cold War (2009), deals with twentieth-century literature. This year, sponsored by an Andrew Mellon Emeritus Fellowship, he has been working in Paris and Lisbon on a book about Camões and the Bible.