Queiroz, José Maria Eça de

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Queiroz, José Maria Eça de

José Maria Eça de Queiroz (zhŏŏzĕ´ mərē´ə ā´kārŏŏz´), 1845–1900, Portuguese writer. Trained in law, he moved to Lisbon in 1866 and was part of a group devoted to a literature that would promote social change. He was in Portugal's foreign service and served as consul in Havana, two English cities, and Paris. Fundamentally cosmopolitan in attitude, he became an ardent admirer of French culture. Influenced by both romanticism and Flaubert's naturalism, he is generally considered Portugal's greatest novelist. O crime do Padre Amaro (1876; tr., The Sin of Father Amaro, 1962, 2003) and his masterpiece Os Maias (1888; tr., The Maias, 1965, 2007) are marked by ironic portrayals of corruption among the clergy and in high society. Characteristic of Eça de Queiroz's 12 novels are sparkling description, profound character analysis, and an absence of the long oratorical sentence traditional in Portuguese prose. His other major novels are The Illustrious Ramires Family (1900, tr. 1968) and The City and the Mountains (1901, tr. 1956). His short stories, essays, and letters exhibit his urbanity and skeptical humor.

See A. Coleman, Eça de Queiroz and European Realism (1980); study by I. Stern in European Writers: The Romantic Century, ed. by G. Stade (1985).

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