Goan writing in Portuguese gets another close look, back home
GOA, India: Five decades after the Portuguese language
suddenly lost its prominence in this society, 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 is to release a
new book titled Oriente e Ocidente na Literatura
Goesa (East and West in Goan Literature). The
322-page book’s subtitle focuses on the “reality,
fiction, history and imagination” of the writings
from Goa’s past. It will be released on Wednesday,
May 30, 2012 at the Margao Ravindra Bhavan’s Black
Box at a function which starts at 4.45 pm.
This work looks at the work of many 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
Dr Miranda also 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.
Eufemiano de Jesus Miranda earlier did his PhD at the Goa
University on the topic 19th-20th century Indo-Portuguese
Literature — a study of major themes in the socio-historical
background (Literatura Indo-Portuguesa dos Séculos XIX e XX:
Um estudo de temas principais no contexto sócio-histórico).
Miranda has also been at St Xavier’s College at
Mapusa, Goa, for ten years as a lecturer teaching
both Portuguese and English. In 1988, he was
awarded a scholarship from the Gulbenkian
Foundation, Lisbon, to work on the thesis which was
completed under the guidance of the late
vice-principal Fr. Ivo de Mascarenhas, at the Goa
He has continued to teach at various institutes and colleges,
and as a priest involved actively in the pastoral ministry at
Curca-Santana, Alto de Porvorim, Santa Inez and presently at
Chicalim. Miranda is currently the parish priest of the
Miranda has a classical formation from the seminary from 1954
to 1960, having learnt Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Marathi
and Konkani. His other passion is music, and he founded the
Music Lovers’ Society and the Goa String Orchestra, and he is
also president of the Stuti Choral Ensemble, Goa.
Stuti is the Konkani word for “praise”, and he is actively
involved in organising concerts in various in religious and
other venues with the goal of fostering the culture of
classical and popular music and taking it to the people.
In his book, Miranda suggests: “The Indo-Portuguese
writer is a ‘romantic’, a man under the spell of a
‘rupture’ and a ‘longing for totality’. It 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
Though the book is in Portuguese — one of the few to be
published in recent decades in that language in Goa — it has
chapter summaries in the English language.
The book has been supported in part by the Goa
government’s Directorate of Arts & Culture, and its launch is
being held in association with the Ravindra Bhavan, Margao.
Its introduction is by Prof. Dr. Hélder Garmes of the
Department of Classical and Vernacular Literature of the
University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
A few Brazilian students are known to have done or are still
doing their research on topics relating to Goan writing in
Portuguese, a genre seemingly forgotten in its home of origin
Angela Goldstein has been studing the writing
(short stories) by Vimala Devi for her Masters.
Pedro Vinícius Leite has been doing a comparative
study between *O signo da Ira* and *O ultimo olhar
de Manu Mirando*, two novels by the awardwinning
Portugal-based late Orlando da Costa who traces his
roots to Margao.
Octavio Carillo has been working on a comparative study
between *O Signo da Ira* and Lambert Mascarenhas’
*Sorrowing Lies My Land* at the undergraduate level. João
Cunha who already did a study termed as impressive on *Jacob
and Dulce* by “Gip”, for his Master, now, in his PHd, is
studing the works by Jose da Silva Coelho. Prof Helder
himself has been doing a comparative study between *Os
Brahamanes* (1866), the novel by Francisco Luis Gomes, and
*The Guarani* (1857), a romantic Brazilian novel by Jose de
Dr Miranda’s book has been published by the Saligao-based
Goa,1556 named after the arrival of the first Gutenberg-style
printing press in the whole of Asia, in Goa in that year. It
The launch function is open to interested members of the
Author (Dr/Fr Eufemiano Miranda) +91-832-2540099 (Portugues or English)
PUblisher (Goa,1556) [email protected]
+91-832-2409490 or +91-832-2409490 (English only) Contact: Frederick Noronha.