VIII Congresso Internacional da Associação Portuguesa de Literatura Comparada

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


In a chapter of the Chronicle of king John I (Crónica de Dom João I), Fernão Lopes narrates the death, by plague, of countless Castilian forces who sieged Lisbon in 1384. Until the 1840s, this remarkable description was the only explicit reference in Portuguese literature to one of many epidemic outbreaks that had occurred in Portugal. However, the first-generation Romantics, deeply fascinated by the macabre and death, began to allude to epidemic diseases and to “cholera morbus”. Between the historical Romanticism of Alexandre Herculano and the critical Realism of Eça de Queiroz, we find a diversified description of moments in which some characters, or even the author himself, live closely with the plague and how they fight it.
Under genealogical forms of novel, drama, short story and poetry, and with Lisbon in the spotlight as an urban space with a lot of population and little salubrity, several 19th century literary texts testify to historical facts, people fleeing away from the city, legal issues to be dealt with at the time of death, rituals of death in family intimacy, autobiographical experiences, the use and abuse of anaesthetics, or the symbolic connection between love and death, all recollections of times of pestilence, famine and war.
Period13 Oct 2022
Event typeConference
Conference numberVIII
LocationÉvora, PortugalShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • plague
  • 19th century Portuguese literature
  • Romanticism
  • Realism