Ilhas riqueza, ilhas miseria. A representacao literaria da insularidadde num triangulo atlantico lusofono

Maria Laura Pereira Areias
Romance Literature, Tulane University - UNITED STATES, 2000
January, 2000
Doctorate thesis


To the traditional unity of the Lusophone world I will explore its variety not only geographic, dispersed over five continents, but also linguistic, cultural, social, economical and political. As a sample I will analyse the literature of four archipelagos located in the Atlantic Ocean, representing a country and a continent or part of a country--Azores (Portugal), Cape Verde, São Tomé e Principe, Bahia islands (Brazil). At the same time I will define the character of the islander, based on studies about Caribbean Islands, by Pedreira, Benitez Rojo, Juan Floras, etc. This analysis will study different writers and more meaningful social and political periods, such as the rising of a black conciousness and struggle for independance, or the pessimistic disillusion of the current distopia in Azores and Brazil. Conclusions will be based on marxist, anti and post-colonialist, and post-modern theories of Fanon, Margarido, Appiah, Loomba, and Pratt. Particular emphasis will be placed on the humor that characterizes islanders in its different forms, based on Bakhtin and Bergson. The idea of island leads to two opposing images/conceits--abundance and absence, hence the title "ilhas riqueza, ilhas miséria". So, I will analyse that contrast and one of the consequences of the islander's reality: emmigration. The massive Portuguese and the Cape-Verdian exodus to the New World in the American whale-boats started around the turn of the XIX century, which remade Azores with a "Tenth Island" or the L(USA)lândia. A short view of the human potentials of three generations will be given by the studies of Eduardo Lourenço or the Californian or East-coast scholars Eduardo Mayone Dias, Dinis Borges and Onésimo Almeida.

Finally we will end up concluding that the islands and islanders are unfairly subject to marginalization and explotation by the authorities and elites. If it will be democratically given a place and the chance to express itselves to all lusophone countries or regions, Lusophonia will become more than "the world the Portuguese created" as imagined in the 30's by the Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre, but rather a democratic project where nobody and nothing--race, colour, linguistic substracts, culture--will be lost.