Franz Kafka, Fernando Pessoa e Mário De Andrade: On the Meanings of a Minor Literature

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Hörsaal 14 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Ana Lucia TEIXEIRA, Departement of Social Sciences, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Guarulhos, Brazil
Seeking to give conceptual consistency to the term coined by Franz Kafka in his diaries, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari support the notion of minor literature on three basic pillars: 1) production of a strong effect of deterritorialisation of the languages; 2) its intrinsic political effect, and 3) the collective value of what is produced by it, so that individual enunciation claims to be taken as the expression of a group.

The notion of minor literature is specially pertinent to think expressions of literature outside the centres of modern culture. It is the case of Portuguese modernist literature. In this case, one cannot talk of deterritorialisation of language, but of a reterritorialisation. To choose Portugal as a theme implies to produce a collective enunciation inasmuch as it means to establish a dialogue with the most fruitful theme of Portuguese literature.

Brazilian modernist literature, although differently, can be apprehended in the same terms: the binomial literature–literary criticism undertook a process of rationalisation of a national project, already established by 19th-century literature, maturing it into a project that aimed at aesthetic elaboration, intimately related to the local transformation of language, therefore, to its hyperterritorialisation, and the proposition of a national project with a modern face, enabled notably by literature.

In the three cases what took place was not only a literary production which gives visibility to national sentiment imbued with a political vocation, but the constitution of fundamentally literary structures of thought appropriate to its context of production. The aim of this presentation is to use the term coined by Kafka to discuss the works of three authors: Kafka, Mário de Andrade, and Fernando Pessoa, writers who produced, besides literature, an analytical grid which made it possible to give legibility to the political and cultural scene in which they belonged.