Orienting Os Lusíadas @ 450

Lusíadas collage

This online bibliography brings together resources and scholarship to mark the 450th anniversary of the publication of The Lusiads (Os Lusíadas), the magnum opus of Luís Vaz de Camões (c. 1524/5–1580), an epic that “sings” the story of Portugal’s colonial expansion. Long revered as the most important work in the Portuguese language, it draws inspiration from Greco-Roman epics such as Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey as well as Persian and Hindu mythology. The ten cantos which structure the long narrative poem are in ottava rima and total 1,102 stanzas.

The Lusiads form a key pillar of an entire mythos constructed around nostalgia for the empire, though one that has received increasing critical attention in scholarly and political circles alike. Anthony Soares, for example, highlights the material and bodily violences that lie behind discursive elements of the text’s poetic cantos. Other scholars have traced the Persian and Indian lyric influences in the text (notably Hāfiz and Omar Khayyam), interpreting the national epic against itself. Some have even identified critiques of Empire, as well as satirical treatments of etymologies and ancestral pretenses, within the text itself, calling into question the poet’s own consent for his work to be interpreted as the uncritical pro-imperialist national epic, par excellence. As 2022 marks the 450th anniversary of its publication, new scholarship (see Camões at Harvard: Navigating 450 years of Os Lusíadas) will continue to critically resituate The Lusiads both in its historical moment and in Portuguese and global literature today.

We hope you make use of this bibliography which highlights resources in UC Berkeley’s distinguished Portuguese collection but also which provides access to open and freely available sources online.

Cameron Flynn
Ph.D. student, Romance Languages and Literatures

Claude Potts
Librarian for Romance Languages Collections


Summer reading: all about love: new visions

Book cover for all about loveall about love: new visions
bell hooks

All About Love offers radical new ways to think about love by showing its interconnectedness in our private and public lives. In eleven concise chapters, hooks explains how our everyday notions of what it means to give and receive love often fail us, and how these ideals are established in early childhood. She offers a rethinking of self-love (without narcissism) that will bring peace and compassion to our personal and professional lives, and asserts the place of love to end struggles between individuals, in communities, and among societies. Moving from the cultural to the intimate, hooks notes the ties between love and loss and challenges the prevailing notion that romantic love is the most important love of all.

CAROLINE M. WILLIAMS
Associate Professor, Evolutionary Physiology
Department of Integrative Biology

This book is part of the 2022 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


Summer reading: Gordo

Book cover for GordoGordo: Stories
Jaime Cortez

Gordo is a collection of short stories which intimately describe the world of a migrant workers camp near Watsonville, California in the 1970s. Through his memorable cast of characters, Cortez explores the complexities of growing up Mexican American in California with humor and with a deep sincerity. The book confronts the difficulties of simultaneously belonging and not belonging in this country, a relatable experience that radiates far beyond Watsonville, California.

CHRISTINA VELAZQUEZ FIDLER
Digital Archivist
The Bancroft Library

This book is part of the 2022 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


Summer reading: Interior Chinatown

Book cover for Interior ChinatownInterior Chinatown
Charles Yu

In this genre-bending book, all the world’s a stage, and all the people merely players. Some have named, starring roles. Others are limited to non-speaking background roles such as Ethnic Recurring, Generic Asian Man Number Three, and Delivery Guy. Such are the roles available to our protagonist, Willis Wu, whose highest aspiration is to become Kung Fu Guy. By the end of the book, Willis comes to recognize the invisible, historical forces circumscribing his world, and struggles with what it would mean to break free and go off-script—and invites us to do the same. One of our student reviewers for the 2022 On the Same Page program praised Interior Chinatown for its “unique and compelling examination of Asian-American identity and media representation.” Another student reviewer described the book as “storytelling like I have never seen or read before.” Exploring an American history of immigration, marginalization, assimilation, racism, and mass media, Interior Chinatown asks, “Who gets to be an American? What does an American look like?”

AILEEN LIU
Director of Curricular Engagement Initiatives
College of Letters & Science

This book is part of the 2022 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


Our Picks for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month! Join us in celebrating through works of literature the diverse histories and cultures of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Americans who have shaped the history of the United States.

Browse more highlights in OverDrive.



Read at Home: New in OverDrive

OverDrive is a UC Berkeley Library service for borrowing ebooks and audiobooks. You can access books online, download them to a device, or read them on an ereader such as Kindle. OverDrive is available to current UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff. How it works: Simply log in with your CalNet ID, and you can start borrowing!

You can also download the Libby by OverDrive app to access OverDrive from your mobile device. For more information, visit the OverDrive help guide.

Check out some of the new arrivals here:



New Book by Timothy Hampton (Comparative Literature & French)

Cheerfulness [book cover]

Cheerfulness: A Literary and Cultural History tells a new story about the cultural imagination of the West wherein cheerfulness — a momentary uptick in emotional energy, a temporary lightening of spirit — functions as a crucial theme in literary, philosophical, and artistic creations from early modern to contemporary times. In dazzling interpretations of Shakespeare and Montaigne, Hume, Austen and Emerson, Dickens, Nietzsche, and Louis Armstrong, Hampton explores the philosophical construal of cheerfulness — as a theme in Protestant theology, a focus of medical writing, a topic in Enlightenment psychology, and a category of modern aesthetics. In a conclusion on cheerfulness in pandemic days, Hampton stresses the importance of lightness of mind under the pressure of catastrophe. A history of the emotional life of European and American cultures, a breathtaking exploration of the intersections of culture, literature, and psychology, Cheerfulness challenges the dominant narrative of Western aesthetics as a story of melancholy, mourning, tragedy, and trauma. Hampton captures the many appearances of this fleeting and powerfully transformative emotion whose historical and literary trajectory has never before been systematically traced.

[from publisher’s site]

Professor Hampton, who holds a joint appointment in the Departments of French and Comparative Literature, is director of the Townsend Center for the Humanities. He discussed his recent book with Seth Lerer (Literature, UC San Diego) on April 20 through the Townsend Center’s Berkeley Book Chats.

 

Cheerfulness: A Literary and Cultural History.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2022.


DH Fair 2022

The DH Fair is an annual event that offers the UC Berkeley community the opportunity to share projects at various stages of development, receive invaluable feedback from peers, and reflect on the field more broadly. Join us online Tuesday, May 3 for a keynote speech by Lauren Tilton and a virtual poster session.

Visit the DH Fair website for more information.


Scheduled OverDrive Maintenance

Between May 3 and July 28, 2022, OverDrive will be performing server upgrades between 3am-5am PDT on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

OverDrive service will be impacted only once for approximately 60 minutes or less.

Users will still be able to sign in to the digital collection and browse or read titles, but may encounter errors when attempting to borrow, place a hold, or return titles during the maintenance period.


New Book by Michael Lucey (Comparative Literature & French)

What Proust Heard [book cover]

Michael Lucey offers a linguistic anthropological analysis of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

What happens when we talk? This deceptively simple question is central to Marcel Proust’s monumental novel In Search of Lost Time. Both Proust’s narrator and the novel that houses him devote considerable energy to investigating not just what people are saying or doing when they talk, but also what happens socioculturally through their use of language. Proust, in other words, is interested in what linguistic anthropologists call language-in-use.

Michael Lucey elucidates Proust’s approach to language-in-use in a number of ways: principally in relation to linguistic anthropology, but also in relation to speech act theory, and to Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology. The book also includes an interlude after each of its chapters that contextualizes Proust’s social-scientific practice of novel writing in relation to that of a number of other novelists, earlier and later, and from several different traditions, including Honoré de Balzac, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Nathalie Sarraute, and Rachel Cusk. Lucey is thus able to show how, in the hands of quite different novelists, various aspects of the novel form become instruments of linguistic anthropological analysis. The result introduces a different way of understanding language to literary and cultural critics and explores the consequences of this new understanding for the practice of literary criticism more generally.

[from publisher’s site]

Professor Lucey, who holds a joint appointment in the Departments of French and Comparative Literature, discussed his recent book with Suzanne Guerlac on April 6 through the Townsend Center’s Berkeley Book Chats. The event was recorded and is available online.

 

What Proust Heard: Novels and the Ethnography of Talk.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022.