National Identity and National Unity in Contemporary East Timorese Literature

Anthony Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Beginning with a panoramic analysis of the role played by East Timorese poets in the struggle for liberation from Portuguese and Indonesian colonial rule, this article examines the extent to which an East Timorese national identity and unity repeatedly featured in the poetry of the 1970s and 80s are represented in contemporary Timorese literary production. By reading the work of the novelist Luís Cardoso, and the poets Abé Barreto and Celso Oliveira, the article also assesses whether the independent nation envisioned earlier by those such as Borja da Costa, Fernando Sylvan and Xanana Gusmão, has been realised. In doing so, critical attention is brought to bear on the intimate relationship between the specific material and political circumstances of East Timor and the literature produced in colonial and postcolonial moments in the nation’s history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-101
Number of pages22
JournalPortuguese Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Cultural Studies


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