A revolutionary anthology in 1960s Portugal

Natalia antologia 1965

The new edition (745:23.c.201.7)

The UL recently acquired a new edition of the Antologia de poesia portuguesa erótica e satírica, a book that represents an important part of Portuguese literary and political history. First published in December 1965, the book’s release earned its editor, the poet and writer Natália Correia, a 3-year suspended prison sentence.

To 21st century eyes, this is a scholarly and comprehensive work of anthology. It compiles works by most of the major figures in Portuguese poetry dating back to the medieval troubadours, including Camões, Bocage, Almeida Garrett, Fernando Pessoa and António Botto. Also included are those then-contemporary poets – such as Maria Teresa Horta, Mário Cesariny, Herberto Helder, Luiz Pacheco, Jorge de Sena and Natália Correia herself – who have since come to be considered equally canonical. Therefore, it is interesting to reflect on the “seismic shock” (as Correia described it) that the book caused on its initial publication. Continue reading

40 years of Portuguese freedom

Revolução_dos_Cravos

Image taken from Wikimedia Commons

Friday 25 April marks the 40th anniversary of Portugal’s “Carnation Revolution” (Revolução dos Cravos or simply 25 de Abril). This was arguably the moment at which modern Portugal began to take shape, as the revolution led to the overthrow of the authoritarian and conservative Estado Novo regime, the introduction of genuine democracy in the country, and the withdrawal of Portugal from its African colonies. The Carnation Revolution was so-named because no shots were fired and, to celebrate its success, carnation flowers were displayed in the muzzles of army rifles and on the uniforms of military officers.

The revolution began as a military coup by the Movimento das Forças Armadas, a group of lower-ranked, left-leaning Portuguese army officers who opposed Portugal’s lengthy, expensive and unpopular Colonial War – and, in particular, new government legislation to fast-track militia officers into higher military ranks to take part in this war. The movement was initially planned and enacted by officers such as Vasco Gonçalves – Portugal’s prime minister following the revolution and interviewed in Vasco Gonçalves: um general na revolução (classmark: 585:5.c.200.10) – and Amadeu Garcia dos Santos, whose memoirs were published as General Garcia dos Santos: memórias políticas: um pouco do que vivi (classmark: 585:5.c.201.16). Continue reading