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Lecture: Through the windows of memory
Date: 8 May 2008 (Thursday)

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures of the University of Hong Kong is pleased to announce a lecture (in English) by

Dr. Manuela Carvalho
University of Edinburgh/Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa


Through the windows of memory: history, nation, colonial war and post-colonialism in the Portuguese novel and film adaptation A Costa dos Murmurios

to be held on

Thursday, May 8, 2008
at 5:00 pm
in Room KK813, KK Leung Building
The University of Hong Kong

Scholars of Portuguese Studies have recurrently noticed the national fixation with Portuguese identity – the tendency for Portuguese literary critics to engage actively with the notions of nation, empire and identity, drawing on the history of Portugal and the contemporary role of the country in relation to Europe and its former empire. Likewise, contemporary Portuguese writers, such as António Lobo Antunes and Lídia Jorge, have explored the “new spatial configurations of the nation and comment ironically on Portugal’s postrevolutionary desire to be recognised among the developed nations of Western Europe”.

In this paper, Dr. Carvalho will discuss the film A Costa dos Murmúrios (2004) directed by Margarida Cardoso, alongside and in relation to the novel from which its script was adapted, A Costa dos Murmúrios (Murmuring Coast) by Lídia Jorge (1988), concentrating on the process of adaptation of the novel into film, the dialogical process between the two, on how the film (made 16 years after the publication of the novel), through a different medium, perpetuates or not the same notions of re-questioning history, post-coloniality, memory and trauma, as well as the role of women in the colonial war.

The reassessment of the Empire seen from outside, the notions of otherness, border and periphery will be central to this discussion. The testimony level of the novel is transferred to the film through the filmic technique of voice-over, but it achieves the effect of a visual testimony through the eyes of women whose privileged places of observation are the windows of a house and an hotel, from where they can spy, deconstructing the memory of the written colonial history in a more subtle way than the novel. Particular attention will be paid to the reception of the film in Portugal.

Enquiry: Ms. Yvonne Yeung (Tel: 2859-8030/ email: )

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