Postcolonial memories and lusophone literatures
DE MEDEIROS a1|
a1 Faculteit der Letteren, Universiteit Utrecht, Kromme Nieuwegracht 29,
3512 HD Utrecht, Netherlands
By focusing almost exclusively on the circumstances of British colonialism, postcolonial theory has failed to take into consideration other histories of colonization and other forms of postcoloniality. By considering a few elements from the history of Portuguese colonialism and a few lusophone texts, it is my hope to demonstrate what I consider to be a limited perspective on postcolonial studies, at the same time that one may also ponder the fact that so much in postcolonial literature depends precisely on acts of remembrance. Ruins, all sorts of ruins, form a privileged space for the construction of postcolonial memories and in this essay I will focus especially on one kind, the shipwreck, as a special figure for varied postcolonial memories. In the process, I hope to also make a case for the reconsideration of European literature, via the example of Portuguese literature, from a postcolonial point of view. Germano Almeida's novel, O
Napumoceno (1991) and its film version, de-emphasize cultural hegemony and the dichotomy between colony and metropolis. The legacy of Portuguese tradition remains complex.