Precisa ter instalado o JavaAplet
Precisa ter instalado o JavaAplet
Precisa ter instalado o JavaAplet
Precisa ter instalado o JavaAplet

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


Baroque and Mannerism Classics Existentialism Experimentalism Enlightenment Modernity


Neo-Realism Post-Modernism Realism Romanticism Saudosismo Symbolism




Florbela Espanca

Venceslau de Moraes

Although Eugénio de Castro was the person who introduced Symbolism to Portugal, with his work Oaristos (1890), Camilo Pessanha was certainly the most important poet in this movement, which was closely bound up with the climate of disquietude and incompleteness arising from the sort of atmosphere that is typically engendered at the end of a century and produces essentially idealistic ways of thinking (further exacerbated in Portugal with the echoes of the “English Ultimatum”).

Fialho de Almeida also represented this tendency in prose (although his impressionistic style nonetheless had strong links with the naturalistic school), along with Venceslau de Morais (who clearly adopted the theme of escape, which he was able to realise through his travels to the Far East, eventually settling in Japan) and other authors more closely connected with the twentieth century, António Patrício, Carlos Malheiro Dias, Teixeira Gomes and Raul Brandão.

In poetry, António Nobre and Florbela Espanca are also connected with the elegiac mentality and uncertain aspirations that are characteristic of symbolism. In the writing of prose, these produce notable innovations in the narrative, insisting on the materiality of writing and completely upsetting the traditional mechanisms of representation through discourse.

I have lost my fantastic castles

Like the distant fog that evaporates...

I wanted to win, I wanted to fight, I wanted to defend them:

I broke my spears one by one!

I lost my ships amongst the ice

That sank on a sea of mist...

- So many obstacles! Who could see them? -

I threw myself into the sea and saved none!

I lost my goblet, my ring,

My coat of mail, my steed,

I lost my golden helmet and my gems...

Strange entreaties rise to my lips...

Mountains weigh upon my heart...

I look at my empty hands in alarm...


Florbela Espanca



© Instituto Camões, 2001