Utopias of Otherness: Nationhood and Subjectivity in Portugal and Brazil

Synopsis

Forges a new understanding of how these two Lusophone nations are connected. The closely entwined histories of Portugal and Brazil remain key references for understanding developments--past and present--in either country. Accordingly, Fernando Arenas considers Portugal and Brazil in relation to one another in this exploration of changing definitions of nationhood, subjectivity, and utopias in both cultures. Examining the two nations' shared language and histories as well as their cultural, social, and political points of divergence, Arenas pursues these definitive changes through the realms of literature, intellectual thought, popular culture, and political discourse. Both Brazil and Portugal are subject to the economic, political, and cultural forces of postmodern globalization. Arenas analyzes responses to these trends in contemporary writers including Jose Saramago, Caio Fernando Abreu, Maria Isabel Barreno, Vergilio Ferreira, Clarice Lispector, and Maria Gabriela Llansol. Ultimately, Utopias of Otherness shows how these writers have redefined the concept of nationhood, not only through their investment in utopian or emancipatory causes such as Marxist revolution, women's liberation, or sexual revolution but also by shifting their attention to alternative modes of conceiving the ethical and political realms.