Uncommon character figuration: examples in Casos do Beco das Sardinheiras by Mário de Carvalho

Flavio García

Abstract

The Portuguese writer Mario de Carvalho, through both his textual beings—particularly in his Casos do Beco das Sardinheiras— as well as in responses in interviews he gave, refers sometimes to the dimensions of Latin American magical realism which were in vogue at the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century, and to his need to leave the territory of «minor literature», thus announcing a retirement from fantasy literature that he was in fact never never able to achieve. With comings and goings, lengthy passages, tangents, shamelessness and pretenses, the writer ends up producing a fictional work that can be said to be representative of the new fantastic discourses, those that manifest themselves in aspects of the modern or contemporary fantastic. In Casos do Beco das sardinheiras (1st edition, 1982), Mario de Carvalho constructs possible worlds immersed in the Fictional Uncommon with space, time, characters, and actions inconsistent with the architecture of semionarrative-literary real-naturalistic literary standards, cracking, fracturing, and breaking with the paradigms of established and institutionalized common sense. This reading shall highlight, among the narrative building strategies that contribute to the outbreak of the fantastic in this unusual organic collection of short stories, figuration – the fabrication of characters – as an exemplary protocol of its fantastic poetics, shedding light on the process of fabrication of two characters: Zé Metade and Andrade before Mula, after Moon.

Keywords

Possible Worlds, Fictional Uncommon, New Fantastic Discourses, Characters, Figuration.

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References

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