The teachers say that reading “Os Mayas” implies an analysis of racial prejudice
The issue has been the subject of a debate after an investigator confirmed that it was racist work.
In February, an online lecture at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth considered whether “Os Maias”, the classic by Eça de Queiroz, is a racist work. The public meeting of the Cape Verdean doctoral student Vanusa Vera-Cruz Lima on the Zoom platform sparked a great debate.
As NiT reported at the time, the researcher argued that this 19th century work is an example of someone “who over and over again maintains the stereotypes that legitimize and enable the spread of racism”.
“The perception and representation of black people in Os Maias depends on aggression, dehumanization and humiliation. My goal is to analyze the language that Eça de Queiroz uses to refer to black people through characters, stories, language and choice of words, among other things, ”said the presentation of the lecture signed by Vanusa Vera. Cruz Lima.
“Crisis of black melancholy”, “blacks of cholera”, “dark and ugly stairs” and “happy rooms, lined with light-colored papers” were some of the expressions Vanusa Vera-Cruz Lima emphasized. The Portuguese teacher does not suggest the end of the reading of the work, but rather the awareness of people in relation to “meanings that have so far not been observed or discussed in the school materials accompanying the reading”.
Now the Association of Portuguese Teachers (AFP) has reacted to the topic, taking into account that a reading of “Os Maias” implies the analysis of racist prejudices of the narrative discourse and the characters and the insertion of this discourse into the historical context.
Regarding the researcher’s presentation, AFP Vice-President Luís Filipe Redes told Lusa, quoted by the Público newspaper, that “a very thorough analysis is not necessary to identify the racial prejudice in ‘Os Maias’ and in others Texts by Eça ”.
“Despite his realism, the author has the limits of a 19th century man. In order not to have preconceived visions of others, we have to interact with them, which Eça was unable to do despite his stay in Cuba, ”said the Portuguese teacher.
According to Luís Filipe Redes, reading this work implies “analyzing racist prejudices in the narrative discourse and in the characters and inserting this discourse into the historical context”. However, he argues that we “cannot project value judgments formed in the experiences of our time onto the actions of men of the past”.