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History of Portuguese Literature Origins of Portuguese Literature The Portuguese Language Oral Literature Fiction Lyricism
Travel Literature Cantigas de amigo Historiography Doctrinal Prose


Jorge de Sena

Jorge de Sena, Sinais de Fogo,
6th edition. Porto, Edições ASA, 1995

He was one of the most crucial figures in our contemporary world of letters, not only because of the quality of his writing, but also because of the controversial incisiveness of his interventions, which always demonstrated his awareness of the Portuguese literary environment, even though he began to work abroad as a university lecturer (Brazil, United States) after 1959.

Jorge de Sena. Caricature 
by Rui Knopfli, 1977

Besides producing an important and extensive corpus of essays and criticism, he wrote countless books of poetry (Perseguição, 1942, Fidelidade, 1958), some of which demonstrated a powerful sense of cohesion in terms of composition and theme (Arte de Música, 1968, Conheço o Sal, 1974, Sobre Esta Praia, 1977), and collections of short stories (Andanças do Demónio, 1966), as well as two novels (O Físico Prodigioso, 1977, and Sinais de Fogo, 1979), the first being an original mixture of supernaturalness and eroticism, whilst the second is an incisive testimony relating to his life experience, particularly the time that he spent living in Portugal.


Towards the truth march the bodies that do not know it
or that know it only by another name.
Thus slips the wind along the human roads
amidst the voice of the wheatfields undulating within it.

                                                             Coroa da Terra


© Instituto Camões, 2001