Journal of Romance Studies

Dictatorship, liberation, transition in the short fiction of three Portuguese-language Goan writers: Alberto de Menezes Rodrigues, Ananta Rau Sar Dessai and Telo de Mascarenhas

Journal of Romance Studies (2013), 13, (2), 1–18.

Abstract

This article discusses the work of three Goa-based Lusophone writers active under the Estado Novo: Alberto de Menezes Rodrigues, Ananta Rau Sar Dessai and Telo de Mascarenhas. By comparing writings composed and published either side of the demise of Portuguese colonial rule in 1961, I map the fissiparous literary field of this little-studied period in Goa. I argue that Menezes Rodrigues displays a regime-compliant quietism before going on to indulge in social fantasy and effect a reinvestment in an identity rooted in the local vernacular, Konkani. Sar Dessai comes closest to a publicly subversive postcolonising intervention before adopting a pan-Indian outlook. Mascarenhas, for his part, exhibits the most complete oppositional stance open to Lusophone Goans but also the linguistic and cultural cost of political integration into India. Taken as a whole, compared to other emergent Lusophone cultures, the Portuguese-language literary scene that existed and subsisted in Goa proves eccentric and ambivalent.

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e Castro, Paul Melo