The Unembodied Self in Luís de Sttau Monteiro’s Um Homem não Chora

Rhian Atkin

MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities (2009), pp. 33-42, doi:10.59860/wph.a7c4798

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A contribution to: Translation, Adaptation, and Transformation

Edited by Jennifer Shepherd and Jessica Gildersleeve

MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities 3

Modern Humanities Research Association


Abstract.  This paper aims to investigate the personal crisis experienced by the protagonist of Luís de Sttau Monteiro’s 1960 novel, Um Homem não Chora [A Man Doesn’t Cry]. The unnamed protagonist of the novel struggles to participate in society and develops a secondary persona which allows him to separate his private and public selves. R. D. Laing’s descriptions of the technique of unembodiment are used as the starting point for a close examination of the behaviour of Sttau Monteiro’s unnamed protagonist and its consequences, and a consideration of how this device is used within the novel to allude to the socio-political context of Portugal under the Estado Novo, particularly during the late 1950s, when personal and political freedoms were often heavily restricted. The paper forms part of a wider AHRC-funded PhD project focusing on how Lisbon has been used in literature as a site for crisis throughout the twentieth century, and how the nature of crisis alters in accordance with, and perhaps because of, the changing nature of the social and political structure of the country.

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