JoLIE 2:2/2009


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Luisa Marinho Antunes

University of Madeira, Portugal






This paper aims at studying the characteristics of humour in Literatures in Portuguese, in tales, short narratives and novels, so as to uncover the traits of a Portuguese humoristic tradition of its own. The texts under scope have in common the problematic of the national profile approached in a humoristic way. The current analysis draws on a corpus of Portuguese texts by João Ubaldo Ribeiro (Brazil), Pepetela (Angola) and Germano de Almeida (Cape Verde).

The authors follow the Portuguese Literature tradition of using humour as a cognitive and ontological instrument, as a privileged form of knowing the individual and the collective community to which they belong.  Through the creation of various narrative situations, which depict the encounter between national characters and foreigners (a football game, in the case of the Brazilian text; a criminal investigation involving agents from Angola and the FBI, in Pepetela’s novel; the return from the United States of a Cape Verdean immigrant and his attempts to modernize his homeland in the American way), the novelists reflect upon their identity using a satirical perspective.

Alterity fosters the mirror in which the “one” watching the “other” (most times making the foreigner look ridicule and less cunning than himself) acknowledges his own national characteristics and situation in the world. Humour is the possibility of finding the inner voice “us” and opens up the way to change through laughter.


Key words: Lusophone literature; Humour; National profile; Alterity; Traditions





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How to cite this article: Antunes, L. M. (2009). Visões Críticas Do “Nós”: O Jogo Divertido da Imagem Nacional. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 2(2), 21-32. DOI:



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