“A vida é isto”: o espelho do camaleão romântico

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In 1851, Camilo debuted as a professional novelist with Anathema, in which he introduced himself as a “romantic chameleon” willing to write according to the readers’ tastes. Identifying himself with a mimetic animal, Camilo believed he knew how to imitate real life, and, still romantic, he sensed that society was forgetting emblematic values such as patriotism or imagination. After so much of pedagogical literature, the reader of Regeneration was already free to read a book just for pleasure, as a pure bourgeois entertainment.
To survive, Camilo adopted a Darwinist behaviour by accepting commodification and editorial ethics. To give the readers a contemporary novel, he used Stendhal's mirror, excluded the fanciful fables, circumscribed the narrative to the present, unveiled social wounds, and made his writing a reflection of everyday life. Such was the chameleonic romanticism of Camilo, the writer who knew how to seduce bourgeois readers for four decades.
Original languagePortuguese
Title of host publicationCamilo Castelo Branco
Subtitle of host publicationgénese e recepção
EditorsSerafina Martins
Place of PublicationLisboa
PublisherLivraria Bertrand
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9789722546027
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Novel
  • Romanticism
  • Mimesis
  • Futility

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