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Oriente e Ocidente na Literatura Goesa by Dr Eufemiano de Jesus Miranda

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Five decades after the Portuguese language suddenly lost its prominence in Goa, a researcher-priest is to come out with a detailed study of the literature that influenced the minds and hearts of 19th and 20th century Goa. Dr. (Fr) Eufemiano de Jesus Miranda’s 322-page book focuses on the “reality, fiction, history and imagination” of the writings from Goa’s past.
It looks at the work of prominent writers of the yesteryears — Francisco Luis Gomes, Orlando da Costa, and themes such as the image of Mother India in the poetry of the Portuguese-speaking Goan, the figure of the dancing-girl in Goan Lusophone literature, and the works of “Gip” and Augustinho Fernandes. Dr Miranda looks at the creative output of other Goans writing in Portuguese — Floriano Barreto, Nascimento Mendonca, Mariano Gracias, Adolfo Costa, Paulino Dias, Adeodato Barreto, Sanches Fernandes, Lino Abreu, Vimala Devi, Laxmanrao Sardessai and R.V. Pandit.Miranda did his PhD at the Goa University on 19th-20th century Indo-Portuguese Literature — a study of major themes in the socio-historical background. In 1988, he won a Gulbenkian scholarship to work on the thesis under the guidance of the late vice-principal Fr. Ivo de Mascarenhas. He has continued to teach, and as a priest is involved actively in the pastoral ministry. He has a classical formation from the seminary from 1954 to 1960, having learnt Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Marathi and Konkani. Music is his other passion; he founded the Music Lovers’ Society and the Goa String Orchestra, and is also president of the Stuti Choral Ensemble.

Miranda suggests: “The Indo-Portuguese writer is a ‘romantic’, a man under the spell of a ‘rupture’ and a ‘longing for totality’. He argues that this writer — ethnically Indian but often imbibed with Western, Christian and Latin traits, and also strongly influenced by the “Vedic-Upanishadic Hindu substratum”, was marked by a painful search for “self-identity and elf-definition”. This book is in Portuguese — one of the few published in recent decades in that language in Goa — and has chapter summaries in the English language. Its introduction is by Prof. Dr. Hélder Garmes of the Department of Classical and Vernacular Literature of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

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