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Anti-Empire: Decolonial Interventions in Lusophone Literatures$
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Daniel F. Silva

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941008

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941008.001.0001

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Spectrality as Decolonial Narrative Device for Colonial Experience in António Lobo Antunes’s O Esplendor de Portugal

Spectrality as Decolonial Narrative Device for Colonial Experience in António Lobo Antunes’s O Esplendor de Portugal

Chapter:
(p.208) Chapter Six Spectrality as Decolonial Narrative Device for Colonial Experience in António Lobo Antunes’s O Esplendor de Portugal
Source:
Anti-Empire: Decolonial Interventions in Lusophone Literatures
Author(s):

Daniel F. Silva

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941008.003.0007

This chapter explores how O Esplendor de Portugal by António Lobo Antunes deploys spectrality as a consistent and developed narrative device – an aesthetic mode of narrating colonial experience and subjectivities ensnared within imperial discourses. The novel’s narration is, for instance, constantly interrupted by voices from the past that participated in the colonist experience, incessantly interrupting the process of writing and the production of meaning. O Esplendor de Portugal demands that we engage with spectrality at both the level of writing and historicization – producing meaning in relation to particular events, as well as at the level of identity-formation. In this regard, the novel offers profound reflections as to the externality by which identity and subjectivity is formed within Empire. This leads the chapter toward a theoretical exploration of the relationship between specters and the Freudian/Lacanian specular image or ideal ego through which an individual becomes a subject within ideology. From here, the novel also guides this chapter toward yet another rethinking of Empire’s different layers of meaning and power.

Keywords:   António Lobo Antunes, O Esplendor de Portugal, Spectrality, Portuguese imperialism

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