Turning Points

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“From Glory to Misery: the Portuguese decolonization in The Return of the Caravels, by António Lobo Antunes, and some other works and authors”.

António Lobo Antunes' novel The Return of Caravels (1988), focuses on the period of Portuguese decolonization, which occurred in 1975, immediately after the April 1974 Revolution, which ended the dictatorship in Portugal and the Colonial War.
In this novel, the author analyses the return of hundreds of thousands of settlers and their integration into the Metropolis, but also the entire period from the Discoveries to the present, even covering the entire History of the country.
By creating a historiographic metafiction and through a process of parody and carnivalisation, Antunes sets an impossible world, where, together with some anonymous, the “returnees” are the heroes who led the Discoveries, thus operating a fusion of times and sometimes of spaces.
This novel will be our starting point for the delineation of a panoramic view on the presence in Portuguese Literature and other media of the theme of discoveries, the construction and dissolution of the colonial Portuguese empire, whose process is done together with the fight against Salazar's dictatorship and the colonial war.
Period23 May 2020
Event typeConference
LocationAthens, GreeceShow on map


  • António Lobo Antunes
  • The Return of the Caravels
  • Portuguese Discoveries
  • Portuguese decolonization
  • Salazar's dictatorship
  • historiographic metafiction