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  • 1.
    Edfeldt, Chatarina
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese.
    Ecos transnacionais das Novas Cartas Portuguesas: Recepção crítica da obra na imprensa sueca2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [pt]

    A obra Novas Cartas Portuguesas tem-se destacado como paradigmática no espaço da literatura de expressão feminista, a nível nacional Português e internacional, pela sua multifacetada e corajosa narrativa de uma reivindicação total de direitos humanos. Nesta obra, as três Marias, denunciam por um lado toda a política das relações sociais de poder e de normatividade da época e, por outro lado, exploram e destacam novos caminhos duma possível sexualidade feminina ainda não expressada explicitamente na sociedade. Neste sentido, reúnem-se às escritoras, por exemplo escandinavas, da onda transnacional ocidental de segunda geração de feministas, a reivindicar a liberdade sexual das mulheres.

    Neste processo, a narrativa das Novas Cartas Portuguesas ganha ainda mais impacto como precursora por abordar artisticamente um leque de questões teóricas feministas que, só posteriormente na década 80, seriam tratados na Academia. Outro mérito do livro, que se revela evidente com o tempo, é o seu carácter pós-moderno que inova o género literário. Ou seja, pela hibridez de géneros literários e um sujeito de enunciação não identificável.

    A tradução sueca da obra saiu em 1976 e aborda-se nesta comunicação um levantamento da recepção crítica da obra na imprensa sueca da época. Na sequência da caracterização da obra, esboçada em cima, analisaremos as recensões de imprensa com o objectivo de contextualizar a temática e o impacto das Novas Cartas Portuguesas na sociedade sueca da década 70. Além disso, coloca-se a obra em diálogo com algumas obras feministas da época nos Países Escandinavos.    

     

  • 2.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    A Collection of Stories from a Finalist of the Booker Prize: The Reception of Julian Barnes’s Short Fiction in Portugal2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Chimaera - Translated Texts 09 - Contar um Conto2014Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Experimentalism and Intermediality in Gabriel Josipovici's Fictional Work2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Experimentalism and Intermediality in the Fictional Work of Gabriel Josipovici: Reading Making Mistakes2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Good artists copy, great artists steal: On the Pictorial Cannibalism of Gabriel Josipovici2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Memories of Delirium: Traces of Arnold Schoenberg’s String Trio in Gabriel Josipovici’s Everything Passes2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Music into art into text: Klee’s Wander-Artist in Josipovici’s Goldberg: Variations2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The presence of music in Gabriel Josipovici’s novel, Goldberg: Variations (2002), is clear at onset as it establishes an obvious allusion to Bach’s colon-less Goldberg Variations. The reference naturally moves beyond the title as Josipovici appropriates the well-known anecdote in Johann Sebastian Bach’s life and transposes it to an English country house in the 1800s. A constellation of allusions to this episode from Bach’s life informs the novel throughout and it becomes ever more evident that music is bound to play an important role in the economy of the novel. This is particular noticeable on Chapter 18 where two characters reflect at length on the notion of the fugue and “its metaphorical potential”.

    And yet, the full scope of the metaphorical potential of the fugue can only be fully grasped in connection to Paul Klee’s figure of the wandering artist, which seems to be in the text an iconic metaphor for that which we can only glimpse briefly at a certain moment in time and which is lost once we try to apprehend it.

    Drawing on this, this paper shall examine, on a first stage, how Klee’s Wander-Artist enables music to be translated into words, acting as it does as a metaphor for the way the text uses the notion of the fugue to explore the limits of what is sayable and understandable, and then reflect, on a latter stage, on how the figure of the wandering artist affects the text, allowing it to convey what otherwise would be left unsaid. 

  • 9.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Musicalization and Self-Reflexivity: The Case of Gabriel Josipovici’s "Fuga"2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Narrative Strategies and Intermedial Devices in Gabriel Josipovici’s In the fertile Land2014In: La Revue LISA, ISSN 1762-6153, E-ISSN 1762-6153, Vol. XII, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Even though his novelistic work by far exceeds his output in short fiction, Gabriel Josipovici’s contribution to this genre is nothing less than significant. This investigation focuses on the third of his collections of short stories, In the Fertile Land (1987). The motifs and narrative techniques in Josipovici’s work are wide-ranging and display a great variety of thematic concerns. Yet, this collection of short stories seems to demonstrate a particular emphasis on two recurrent features in Josipovici’s oeuvre: the presence of a metafictional dimension and an intermedial aspect in his writing. In proposing this double emphasis, the notions of metafiction and intermediality are initially discussed in the context of a close reading of one of the stories in the collection, “Brothers” (1983). The study of this four-page story focuses on how the structure of the text not only incorporates a violation of narrative levels which acts as a metafictional strategy, but also on how that same disruption is linked with Karlheinz Stockhausen’s musical techniques. In “Brothers” one finds these two features of Josipovici’s writing working simultaneously as a means of foregrounding the text’s own linguistic and textual premises. Following the survey of “Brothers” as a self-reflexive text, this study aims to argue for the particular relevance of In the Fertile Land in Josipovici’s oeuvre because of its varied and systematic use of these two characteristic features in his writing, which in turn call attention to the narrative process itself, a concern that pervades both the author’s fictional and non-fictional work.

  • 11.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    The Paintings of Goldberg: Variations, or how art translates music into words2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    The Song not the Singer: Disrupted Narrative Voice in Gabriel Josipovici’s Mobius the Stripper2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    “The windows are moved once a guest has looked through them”: The architecture of the transitory in Gabriel Josipovici’s narrative2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The British writer Gabriel Josipovici, well-known – even if in often unfortunate deprecatory terms – for his so-called experimentalism, published in 1987 his third collection of his short stories, In the Fertile Land. The collection contains eighteen short stories where the full range of the author’s concerns and modes of expression can be found, but most significantly it displays a particular emphasis on one of the most characteristic features of his oeuvre: the intermedial dimension of his writing. Indeed, we find stories which we can relate to artists as different as Vermeer, Klee, Vuillard, Picasso, Dix and Verbena, too name a few.

    And yet, in “Second Person Looking Out”, one of the most notable stories of the collection, the shift changes from art to architecture. The story is a tripartite text written in first, third and second person, where the seemingly co-referential protagonists of each section try to find their way in and out of a house with sliding doors and windows. In a later essay, Josipovici confirms the crucial importance which the house plays in the structure of his story as he refers to the remarks of the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen on Japanese architecture as the starting-point of his story: “He [Stockhausen] grew fascinated by the Japanese use of sliding doors and windows, which had the effect, he said in the interview, of blurring the threshold between inside and outside”.

    Drawing on this, this paper shall seek to explore how the different sense of time and space which had earlier enticed Stockausen is then appropriated by Josipovici, focusing on the way the author not only uses Stockhausen’s anecdote as a stimulus for his story, but indeed bases the very narrative structure of the text precisely on this interplay between an inner and outer dimension. In the end, we shall see how this narrative structure of architectural nature contributes to an exploration and celebration of the transitory and interstitial.

  • 14.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Translating Experimentalism and Intertextuality: The Cases of Gabriel Josipovici and Philip Terry2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2013 a new literary prize was launched in Britain under the motto “fiction at its most novel”. The Goldsmiths Prize openly aimed “to celebrate the qualities of creative daring” and “to reward fiction that breaks the mould or opens up new possibilities” for the form. In its first edition, Gabriel Josipovici (1940–), known as much for his critical work as for his so-called “experimental” writing, was one of the four judges whereas Philip Terry (1962–) ended up being one of the six authors shortlisted for the prize. However, this is not the first time their paths crossed. Not only has Josipovici contributed to Terry’s acclaimed anthology of short stories based on Ovid, but the work of both is generally characterised by a deep concern with formal innovation and a continuous weaving of other texts into their narratives.

    With this in mind, the aim of the paper is to present the current work around the translation of two short stories: “A Glass of Water” (2000) by Gabriel Josipovici and “Void” (2000) by Philip Terry. While centring the discussion on the challenges and questions which the experimental and intertextual aspects of the stories raise in terms of translation, the paper will also focus on providing an overview of each author’s contribution to the short story genre and on demonstrating how the selected stories are particularly relevant and illustrative of each author’s work.

  • 15.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Unnatural Narrative: Some Notes on the Experimentalism of B. S. Johnson’s The Unfortunates2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    B. S. Johnson’s notoriously experimental book in a box, The Unfortunates, published in 1969, is certainly more famous for the boldness of its format than the depth of its contents, if remembered at all. Having remained largely unknown to the wider reading public, it was hailed as “one of the lost masterpieces of the sixties” by Jonathan Coe, whose prize-winning biography, Like a Fiery Elephant (2004), led to a growing interest in Johnson’s work.

    The Unfortunates is made of a first and last section, clearly marked as such, plus twenty-five sections in between, designed to be read in any order the reader chooses. The book tells the story of a sports journalist, sent to Nottingham to cover a football match, only to find his mind haunted by memories of one his closest friends, now gone, tragically taken by cancer.

    Drawing on recent studies on unnatural narrative, an important new area of research within what David Herman has defined as postclassical narratology, our study will seek not only to place the experimentalist structure of the novel in the theoretical framework of those studies, but also to focus on how its format replicates the unpredictable workings of the mind. In the end, our aim is to the address the random order of the unbound chapters not as a simple formal trick, but as a tangible metaphor for the randomness of memory as one meditates on friendship, death and loss.

  • 16.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    Walking by the Ouse’s Muddy Bank: The Presence of Virginia Woolf in the Work of Gabriel Josipovici2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    “Wanting everything, he is left with nothing”: The mise en abyme of paradoxical duplication in Gabriel Josipovici’s Goldberg: Variations2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Gabriel Josipovici’s novel, Goldberg: Variations (2002), establishes at onset an immediate connection to music as it alludes to Bach’s colon-less Goldberg Variations. The reference naturally moves beyond the title as Josipovici appropriates the well-known anecdote in Johann Sebastian Bach’s life and transposes it to an English country house in the 1800s. In the novel, Goldberg is not a harpsichordist, but rather a jobbing writer of Jewish origin, whose task is to write during the day in the hope of later at night sending to sleep Tobias Westfield, an insomniac aristocrat.

    A constellation of allusions to this episode from Bach’s life informs the novel throughout, and together with other multiple musical references (there are, for instance, reflections on the notions of polyphony and fugue in different chapters of the novel), it becomes clear that music is bound to play an important role in the economy of the novel. But nowhere is this more evident than in Chapter 16, when Josipovici yet again draws on Bach and restages his The Musical Offering, with Goldberg offering a series of literary treatments of one theme. This variation-based structure of the chapter reflects the macrostructure of the novel as a whole and can thus be taken seen as a mise en abyme, for it seems “to contain the work that actually contains it”, as Juliana de Nooy concisely put it.

    Drawing on this, this paper shall seek to explore how the trope of the mise en abyme of paradoxical duplication operates in Josipovici’s novel, focusing on a first stage on the way that duplication takes place and then reflecting on the thematic implications which the use of that literary device enacts on the text.

  • 18.
    Semiao, Mario
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies.
    “We call this the stem stitch”: Embroidered Narrative in Philip Terry’s Tapestry2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Shortlisted for the first edition of the Goldsmith Prize, which aims to reward innovative works of fiction, Tapestry (2013) takes the Bayeux Tapestry as its starting point. While the framing narrative of the text appropriates the historical account of the Norman conquest and the creation of the tapestry by English nuns under the supervision of Bishop Odo, half-brother to William the Conqueror, the novel also explores the myriad of images found in the margins of the tapestry and transposes them into stories told by the nuns to each other in the process of stitching.

    The Bayeux Tapestry (which technically is not a tapestry, but rather a work of embroidery, as the narrator makes sure to remind us) informs the very structure of the novel, not only as it mirrors the double depiction of both the historical events and the hidden stories in the marginalia, but also in the way a mixture of invented Middle English, Oulipian techniques and magic realism is able to convey the sense of colour and texture which characterise the famous tapestry.

    Drawing on this, this paper will thus seek to provide a reading of Terry’s novel, focusing on how the text produces its own version of an embroidered narrative and on how that narrative ultimately paves the way for a reflection on our notions of art and history.

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