5 Racconti Umoristici – Per una riflessione sull’umorismo nella Letteratura portoghese

Luísa Marinho Antunes


When, in 1946, to the doctor and intellectual António de Almeida Garrett, is proposed to coordinate an anthology of Portuguese humorous stories, he raises the question of the most representative characteristics of humour in Portuguese literature. The choice of Camilo Castelo Branco ("o trocista implacável"), Eça de Queiroz ("o caricaturista elegante"), Ramalho Ortigão ("o da crítica graciosa"), Guerra Junqueiro ("o da universal piedade amassada com sarcasmo") and Fialho de Almeida ("o estranho pintor satírico"), favors dimensions that he considers that identify the national humor: the use of caricature, the criticism with a satyrical tone, the sarcasm with pity, the humor committed and compromised with society, the joy of the jester laughing happily, even of sadness.

These features are in fact those which, for its inscription in the European literary tradition of humour give the dimension of these writers as part of the great European literature and in dialogue with it, and, taken as a whole and within the Portuguese literature, they can contribute to a reflection on the existence of a unique and national vision of humour.


Portuguese literature, humour tradition, realism, social criticism

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