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“Receptive Tautology and Vergil’s Homer in Gabriel Pereira de Castro’s Ulisseia, ou Lisboa Edificada (1636)”

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April 15, 2021

Event Subtitle / Short Description

Speaker & Affiliation

Adriana Vazquez, UCLA


4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
via Zoom


In the year 1636, the Lusophone epic poem, titled Ulisseia, ou Lisboa Edificada, of the Portuguese poet Gabriel Pereira de Castro was published, narrating the foundation of Lisbon by Odysseus, framed as a parergon of his famed Homeric nostos. Despite the poet’s insistent claim in the opening canto to ‘sing in imitation of Homer’ (espero cantar de Ulisses, imitando a Homero), Vergil’s Aeneid emerges as an essential poetic model for the text, as much at the level of bilingual intertext between Latin and Portuguese as in its function as a poetic reception itself of the Homeric corpus. My presentation seeks to elucidate Pereira de Castro’s appropriation of Vergil’s Aeneid qua Homeric reception and will integrate the text into a totalizing tradition of epic that positions the Ulisseia in relation to the dominant national epic tradition of Camões’ Lusiads (publ. 1572). The triangulation between three texts - the Ulisseia, the Aeneid, and the Odyssey – will serve as a case study in a receptive method I term ‘tautological reception’, by which one receptive turn gestures to an additional tradition, which ultimately reaffirms the status of the primary receiving text.