Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Eça de Queiroz Month: The Wrap-Up Post



At last, it is completed! The Eça de Queiroz Month is no more! And its conclusion alleviates me from the strenuous effort that ruled my life in the last weeks. I began composing the posts two or three days before June began, and I kept writing one per day even if I only published five per week – weekends were crucial in getting ahead of schedule. Thanks to that I managed to fulfill my plan for writing 22 posts; actually finding material for 22 parts was a more complicated matter: I had to break up his biography in smaller chunks, re-read more than I had counted on; but I think it all turned out well. It was always my intention to interpolate Eça’s life with his oeuvre, to keep this month from reading like a dull lecture. I hope to have achieved that goal.

Although a month in length, I began preparing the Eça de Queiroz Month around a year ago; it was in June or July of 2014 that the idea began coalescing; and once I had decided on it the next step was furnishing myself with Eciana. Although I had read practically every fiction he had written, I was very poorly read up on his secondary bibliography. A preliminary event was my reading of Joel Serrão’s O Primeiro Fradique Mendes, back in 2013. The second half of 2014 and the early months of 2015 saw me taking a crash course on Eça de Queiroz, and I’d be unfair if I didn’t list every author from whom I learned, took quotes, and received wider frameworks in which to understand and appreciate Eça de Queiroz. English-language literary criticism on Eça is scarce, but there are at least two books: Maria Filomena Mónica’s biography Eça de Queiroz (I have not read it), and Maria Teresa Pinto Coelho’s Eça de Queiroz and the Victorian Press, the ultimate source on Eça’s ill-fated attempt at creating his own review – how I learned so much from it! But the majority of the scholars I read will never, I fear, move into English, so I leave their names and books here:  José Augusto-França (As Conferências do Casino no Parlamento), Ernesto Guerra da Cal (A Relíquia – Romance Picaresco e Cervantino), Dominique Sire (Madame Bovary de Gustave Flaubert/O Primo Basílio de Eça de Queiroz), Harold Bloom (Genius), Maria Filomena Mónica (editor of Eça de Queiroz Jornalista and As Farpas), Miguel Real (O Último Eça), Joel Serrão (Temas Oitocentistas II), Luís Manuel de Araújo (Eça de Queiroz e o Egipto Faraónico), Moniz Barreto (A literatura portuguesa no século XIX), Elza Miné (Eça de Queirós Jornalista), João C. Reis (editor of As Polémicas de Eça de Queiroz), Heitor Lyra (O Brasil na Obra de Eça de Queiroz), Alberto Machado da Rosa (Eça, Discípulo de Machado?), and the two great living Eça scholars: João Medina (Reler Eça de Queiroz; Eça Político; A Geração de 70, uma geração revolucionária e europeísta), and the venerable, inspiring and tireless A. Campos Matos (Eça de Queiroz/Ramalho Ortigão; 7 Biografias de Eça de Queiroz; Um Caso Insensato da Cultura Nacional; and the superb biography Eça de Queirós - Uma Biografia). Other books I bought during the Month that I couldn’t read on time to use them; but that’s OK – I’m never finished with learning about Eça de Queiroz. I can't describe the sense of exhiliration I felt on widening my knowledge, on considering new aspects of his life and work, on getting a deeper understanding of what made him so extraordinary.

I read so much because I really wanted this to be the best of the Months I had held at St. Orberose; whatever its flaws, I hope it remains a helpful resource for those initiating their discovery and appreciation the great novelist that was Eça de Queiroz. So I leave here an index of posts:

Finally I wish to thank everyone who followed this event, and who commented. Small as it may have been, I was encouraged by knowing that there was an audience interested in what I was doing. Thank you very much for having been present at the Eça de Queiroz Month.

6 comments:

  1. This is a superhuman achievement, Miguel. Congratulations. I've yet to discover Eça de Queiroz, and when I finally get down to it, I'll definitely resort to your outstanding posts. Your enthusiasm for this writer is very contagious indeed!

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  2. It's staggering. When I guess at the word count - !

    But Eça deserves the effort. His stature in English has a lot of room to grow.

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    1. Hey, you got me curious; I did the word count - 55,451 words! Bah, I've written longer stuff.

      Yep, Eça deserves the effort; nothing makes me happier than reading posters saying that they're trying Eça for the first time.

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  3. I'm so sorry I missed this as it happened, but I'm happy to have the chance to read about one of my favorite authors. Thanks so much for all these wonderful posts!

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    1. Thank you for reading, Dwight; I hope you enjoy these posts.

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