From Adamastor, with Love: Unthinking Lusofonia through the Female Monstrous in José Eduardo Agualusa’s Nação Crioula: A Correspondência de Fradique Mendes
Reason for embargo
This article focuses on the as yet uncharted impact, in postcolonial literature, of the monster Adamastor, created by Portuguese epic writer Luís Vaz de Camões, by turning to Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa’s 1997 novel Nação Crioula: A Correspondência Secreta de Fradique Mendes, a text that engages with the theme of Adamastor, now refashioned as the indigenous female Lusophone Caliban, via the monstrous black character Gabriela Santamarinha. The article seeks to prove that a reading of Agualusa’s literary engagement with cultural mixtures and fluid identities will benefit from an analysis of the monstrous exaggerations that also populate this epistolary novel, since these play a role in the valorisation of creole transnationality as “normal” and desirable. The first part of the article reads the excessive bodies of Gabriela Santamarinha and Ana Olímpia as a canvas on which to sustain and police a vision of lusofonia as a harmonic world of creolity. The second part locates this alternative couple in a more general reading of the novel as a monstrous text, by tracing its transtextuality back to the legend of Dona Marinha (14th century) as well as the episode of Adamastor (16th century).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Maney Publishing via the DOI in this record.
Published online 10 July 2017