Stone Metaphors about a Village: a “Stone Vessel” or “The Most Portuguese”

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This article focuses on the literary landscape of Monsanto. It confronts the discourse produced by the writer, Fernando Namora (1819-1989)—a pioneer of the Neo-Realistic literature in Portugal—and the literary production of other contemporary authors related with the ideological bases of “Estado Novo” (“New State”), the dictatorial regime that held the government in Portugal from 1933 to 1974.In the writings analysed, the representation of the landscapes of Monsanto entails powerful ideological messages. For Namora, the village was a “stone vessel,” a metaphor about the hard life of its inhabitants, victims of social injustices and lacking of resources. For the “Estado Novo,” that place was the symbol of the national identity (“the most Portuguese village,” as was stated in 1938). The metaphors of the stone, the strong substrata and the raw materialused for shelters, stressed the value of preservation of Tradition, History,Religion and Work. Although very different, both discourses attach great valueto the productive and dominated rural landscape of Monsanto, and to the human role in the transformation of its soil.At the present time, even if population has decreased drastically and agriculture has been abandoned, local authorities and tourist agents alike try to conciliatethe “stone vessel” with “the most Portuguese village.” In this context, the options for the management and valorisation of the landscape of Monsanto shall be discussed.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)19-33
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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