Portuguese Theatre of the 17th century: a digital library

Fausto: Uma Existência Digital

Funding Entity: FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology
Principal Researcher: José Camões
Research Unit: CET – Centre for Theatre Studies
Duration: 01-01-2012 a 31-01-2015 (37 months)
Funding: 88.985,00 euros
Abstract: The Project brings forth the edition of all the theatre produced by Portuguese authors of the XVII century, as a digital library is created in the Centre for Theatre Research website, a procedure already used for XVI century Portuguese theatre, accessible online (www.cet-e-quinhentos.com), that has made the CET develop and improve edition techniques and electronic publication resources. As a result, the totality of XVI century theatre texts is universally available, supplying the digital images of manuscripts and first editions, offering a complete and complex set of notes that hyperlink the texts, and a comprehensive bibliography. So, the research team is in the best possible condition to initiate the work that the following century demands, congregating experts in different areas, textual criticism, palaeography and history, capable of displaying the most complete and rigorous information, from a philological point of view, presenting the future user, whether it be the scholar, the young researcher or the mere inquisitive mind, with effective tools and well adjusted applications. Besides the research updating in this area of study, the project will allow the recover of a significant number of forgotten and unpublished texts from Portuguese authors, through the preparation of lessons to be online, side by side with the only XVII theatre text recognizable as part of the literary canon (Fidalgo Aprendiz by Francisco Manuel de Melo). As a matter of fact, this project aims at the rewriting of the History of Theatre and Literature, promoting the search and collection of colóquios, comédias, loas, entremezes, editing authors like Francisco Rodrigues Lobo, Pedro Salgado, Manoel Coelho Rebelo, Manuel Araújo de Castro, Miguel Botelho de Carvalho, Soror Violante do Céu, Soror Maria do Céu and, at the same time, taking into account the theatre of authors with Portuguese nationality that only wrote in Spanish, although some of their plays deal with exclusively Portuguese themes, like António de Almeida or Jacinto Cordeiro. To these, we must add some rare cases of imitations and parodies or even serious translations into Portuguese of plays written in Spanish by Portuguese authors, such as João de Matos Fragoso, who, apparently, chose to write in Spanish in order to achieve a far more extensive market. Moreover, we shall not forget the comedies written in Portuguese by Portuguese Jewish living in Amsterdam, of which we know but one title, Os sucessos de Jacob e Essaú. It is possible that other authors worked in their plays in far more distant lands of the empire, like Índia or Brazil. It all comes, really, to the refusal of the much spread idea that during the XVII century, namely in the course of dual monarchy, Portugal lacked theatre texts and authors. After the restoration of independence in 1640 the theatre was used to broadcast national glories and to resent Spanish humiliation. However, recent studies and research in several libraries reveal a somewhat significant number of plays, only printed once at the time of their composition or kept in manuscripts, thus surviving the circumstances. They are witnesses of an intense theatrical activity ranging from universal themes to very local ones, such as a group of plays that could be properly named «war and resistance theatre», within titles like La feliz restauración de Portugal y muerte del secretário Vasconcelos, by Manuel Almeida Pinto,(1649), La mayor hazanã de Portugal, by Araújo de Castro (1645), Comedia del conde de Castelmelhor en Indias, by António de Almeida (1645), A maior glória de Portugal e afronta maior de Castela, by Pedro Salgado (1663). The results may well interest other disciplines and subjects of a scientific nature, like linguistics, giving access to a very large compilation of vocabulary used by the theatrical text which due to its specificity, which involves particular conditions of decoding, is most useful to lexicographic studies, supplying bilingualism contexts of use. On the other hand, the results may also be of interest to the artistic studies (like architecture and other visual arts), for they may benefit from knowing the contexts in which not only literature but also stage baroque experiences were made, hence contributing for a new knowledge and study of the Portuguese Baroque period that so often forgets the theatre. The project is of major importance because it treads a most needed reorganization of Portuguese theatrical heritage, presenting the following main goals: a) To redefine the Portuguese theatre canon; b) To participate in the mapping of genres and subjects concerning the Portuguese Baroque and its consequent integration in European aesthetic models; c) To establish and preserve the texts, whose interpretation and analysis will result in a new assortment of knowledge and study about Portuguese cultural identity; d) To promote new edition techniques made possible by well succeed technologictes da aplicação de novas tecnologias.

Link: http://www.faustodigital.com/

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Este website é financiado por fundos nacionais através da FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., no âmbito dos projectos «UIDB/00279/2020» e «UIDP/00279/2020».

This website is funded by national funds through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., under the projects «UIDB/00279/2020» and «UIDP/00279/2020».

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