HS3006: Cultural Identity in the Lusophone World
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tradition” with that of “Portuguese literary language”.
As Ornelas points out, Couto goes beyondthe linguistic barriers of the Portuguese language in order to portray a Mozambican reality:
...desvia-se radicalmente dos códigos e das convenções do português tradicional, do portuguêsnormativo.
e fundamentally transforms the traditional codes and conventions of the Portuguese language.}In other words, Couto writes in his native Portuguese but he pushes the barriers of the languageaway from what is deemed linguistically acceptable.If we are to analyse the fore mentioned quote by Lisboa in acoherent manner, we must first examine the cultural roots of Mia Couto in a political context.Born in 1955 in Beira, Mozambique, to Portuguese parents, Couto grew up with Portuguese as hisnative tongue. (see
, Appendix B). For the first two decades of Couto
s life Mozambique wasruled by the
(New State) regime in Portugal
s capital of Lisbon.
The Frelimo regime inplace at the time not only oppressed the people of Mozambique, but also those who lived in Lisbon.Couto bore witness to the fall of the Frelimo government which collapsed largely on account of irresponsible actions carried out by President Samora Machel.
Frelimo had initially been set up in1962 to oppose all form of European colonisation. As a nationalist party based in neighbouringTanzania and founded by Eduardo Mondlane, they were committed to independence (see
“ Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20
Review of African Political Economy
, Vol. 29, No. 91, Sovereignty,
Democracy & Zimbabwe’s Tragedy (Mar., 2002): 146, accessed Dec 15, 2010,
José N. Ornelas, “Mia Couto no Contexto da Literatura Pós
colonial de Moçambique”,
Introduction: A postmodern Nationalist
, introduction to
A Postmodern Nationalist: Truth, Orality, and Gender in the Work of Mia Couto,
(Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2004), 17