Raul Brandão

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Raúl Brandão.

Raul Germano Brandão (Foz do Douro, Porto, March 12, 1867 – Lisbon, December 5, 1930) was a Portuguese writer, journalist and military officer, notable for the realism of his literary descriptions and by the lyricism of his language. Brandão was born in Foz do Douro, a parish of Porto, where he spent the majority of his youth. Born in a family of sailors, the ocean and the sailors were a recurrent theme in his work.


Brandão completed his secondary studies in 1891. After that, the joined the military academy, where he initiated a long career in the Ministry of War. While working in the ministry, he also worked as a journalist and published several books.

In 1896, Brandão was commissioned in Guimarães, where he would meet his future wife. He married in the next year and settled in the city. Despite living in Guimarães, Brandão spent long periods in Lisbon. After retiring from the army, in 1912, Brandão initiated the most productive period of his writing career. He died on December 5, 1930, age 63, after publishing a profuse journalistic and literary work.

Body of Work[edit]

Brandão was the great Portuguese modernist in terms of prose fiction, integrating a symbolist tension into his work in an attempt to transpose an apparent and deceptive reality and thereby obtain a transcendence or absoluteness that are only fumblingly formulated through writing.

A fiction writer who wrote about characters that were both pathetic and grotesque in their incapacity to delineate their dream, or else were shameless in the way in which they betrayed it (A Farsa, 1903, Os Pobres, 1906). It was, however, in the novel Húmus, 1917, that he best explored the terrifyingly small dimension of human existence, enacting the tragedy of the struggle of the “town” for its “dream” and resorting to particular processes of breaking up the narrative time that anticipated the discourse of today’s fiction. He wrote several plays in the same style.

Published works[edit]

  • 1890 - Impressões e Paisagens
  • 1896 - História de um Palhaço
  • 1901 - O Padre
  • 1903 - A Farsa
  • 1906 - Os Pobres
  • 1912 - El-Rei Junot
  • 1914 - A Conspiração de 1817
  • 1917 - Húmus (1917)
  • 1919 - Memórias (vol. I)
  • 1923 - Teatro
  • 1923 - Os Pescadores
  • 1925 - Memórias (vol. II)
  • 1926 - As Ilhas Desconhecidas
  • 1926 - A Morte do Palhaço e o Mistério da Árvore
  • 1927 - Jesus Cristo em Lisboa, with Teixeira de Pascoaes
  • 1929 - O Avejão
  • 1930 - Portugal Pequenino, with Maria Angelina Brandão
  • 1931 - O Pobre de Pedir
  • 1933 - Vale de Josafat

See also[edit]