Books

O Pide

O Pide — Uma tragédia em duas farsas

2017 | 92 pp. | Paperback

ISBN: 978-3-7448-6976-8

 

“This is the most violent book written by Miguel Oliveira. The author stages the dictatorship’s injustice and brutality and gives a voice to the victims who suffered of torture in the hands of the regime. It’s an unbearable text, because it is/or not a piece of fiction.” — Dr. Susana de Abreu

 

Original typewritten manuscript page
Original typewritten manuscript page

From a Man without a Country to an American by Choice

John Dos Passos and Migration

2013 | 492 pp. | Illustrated | Hardcover

ISBN: 978-3-7322-8006-3

 

In his new book Miguel Oliveira significantly expands the body of Dos Passos scholarship by exploring migration as a recurrent issue in the writer’s heritage, life, politics, and work. Just as the innovative integration of narrative genres characterizes Dos Passos’s fiction, this book effectively employs methodologies of different disciplines—biography, history, sociology, literary criticism—to trace the evolution of Dos Passos’s concern with the personal, international, and literary implications of immigration. In multiple ways Oliveira details how the writer’s ‘opinions on migration rested on his life experience and personal observation, which made their way into his writing.’ Ultimately, Oliveira sheds new light on the major shift in Dos Passos’s politics in 1937-38, arguing that this political evolution transformed and complicated the writer’s political stances on immigration issues and his fictional representations of immigrants’ experiences. Part I of the book uses previously unexplored archival materials to offer a much more complete history of Dos Passos’s Madeiran ancestors and his own relationship with Madeira than has previously been available in major biographies. Placing that history into the context of theories and global dynamics of migration, Oliveira situates Dos Passos’s evolving attitudes toward immigration and emigrants particularly in U.S. history. Among the book’s copious illustrations appear previously unseen U.S. government files documenting covert investigations by the F.B.I. and the Immigration and Naturalization Service into the writer’s defense of politically controversial immigrants—even, ironically, while he supported McCarthy’s interrogations of suspected Communists. In Part II of the book, Oliveira surveys and analyzes the depiction of numerous forms of immigration in Dos Passos’s fiction and non-fiction. The literary criticism of the early works explores their pessimistic representation of the experience of immigrants drawn to the U.S. by its “utopian myth.” But in works completed after the events of 1938, Oliveira demonstrates, Dos Passos’s depiction of the possibilities inherent in immigration is more affirmative and nuanced, as he began to identify himself as ‘an American by choice.’ Oliveira’s informative work opens new perspectives on the centrality of immigration as a key to this peripatetic writer, his complex family background, his immersion in politics and love of travel, his own lifelong migrations, and his restless search for ways to construct his ‘chronicles’ of the common lives and pivotal events of the twentieth century. — Prof. Dr. Lisa Nanney, the University of North Carolina, Asheville

 

Miguel Oliveira has written an impressive work that should be referred to by anyone interested in the not inconsiderable matter of John Dos Passos’ fascination with his Portuguese heritage. More, this is an up-to-date handbook that will be extremely useful for anyone studying the life and writing of this important American author.—Townsend Ludington, Boshamer Professor Emeritus of American Studies and English, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Editor of The Fourteenth Chronicle: Letters and Diaries of John Dos Passos and author of John Dos Passos: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey

 

Miguel Oliveira combines an international viewpoint with meticulous research to deliver the most comprehensive portrait yet rendered of John Dos Passos as an individual. We witness the subject’s struggle to become an American—one of generations of immigrants painfully molded into one national body. Thanks to Oliveira, more will understand how his family’s immigration experience informed Dos Passos’s masterworks.—Lucy Hamlin Dos Passos Coggin, (www.johndospassos.com)

 

This ambitious study aims at comprehensiveness and, to achieve this goal, it invites examples from all [of John Dos Passos's works]. Furthermore, it claims having arrived at new findings, and the results of the archival research done, combined with recent personal interviews with family members, amply justifies this claim. Readers will, indeed, find here new information on Dos Passos’s family and life as well as multiple instances taken from Dos Passos’s works that illustrate the relevance of the issue of migration, in its many forms, for this author and his writing.—Prof. Dr. Teresa Cid, The University of Lisbon

 

Any scholar undertaking the study of John Dos Passos's ambivalent attitudes towards migration and the ways in which they are embodied in his experimental narratives will inevitably find himself confronted with an intricate question of method implying a preliminary solution of theoretical problems and shifting the analysis of the individual works somewhat to the background. This is exactly what Miguel Oliveira does in his comprehensive new monograph From "A Man without a Country" to "An American by Choice": John Dos Passos and Migration by placing the discussion of this very broad and complex topic into the proper theoretical framework. Dr. Oliveira employs an interdisciplinary approach to encompass a wide range of issues related to the theory and history of migration, Dos Passos's relationships with his ancestry and his Portuguese roots, fictional representations of immigration and immigrants’ experiences in his writing, to mention just a few. Scrutinizing previously unknown archival materials as well as the writer's major texts, Miguel Oliveira documents a link between Dos Passos's Portuguese roots and his works and follows his path from ‘a man without a country’ to ‘an American by choice’ step by step. The book combines a broad research scope with deep insights—a rare combination, indeed. It is a great piece of John Dos Passos scholarship, a must-read for any serious Dos Passos scholar.—Prof. Dr. Irakli Tskhvediani, Professor of English and American Literature, English Department, Akaki Tsereteli State University, Kutaisi, Georgia

 

"... it is exciting to see such a worthwhile subject handled in such a thorough and interesting manner and in such a handsome and substantial volume.  Your research is impeccable and revelatory; your perspective is original and innovative; and you create new avenues for further Dos Passos scholarship." —Prof. Dr. Lisa Nanney, University of North Carolina-Asheville

 

This well-illustrated book, written in an approachable style, summaries almost a decade of research by Miguel Oliveira on John Dos Passos’ life and work. The study gives a thorough examination on how John Dos Passos associates to the migration problem and touches on topics including North America’s settlement, slavery, the emancipation of slaves, segregation, international and transit migrations, internal migration, non-migration, military migration during WWI, the Spanish Civil War and WWII, the situation of DP’s in the immediate postwar eras, the Parisian expatriate movement, and the migration problems throughout Latin America and Europe. Oliveira provides an enthralling reflection on the whole matter and brings forth an insightful analysis that is supplemented with extensive bibliography, a preface by Teresa Cid of the University of Lisbon, a carefully balanced theoretical and historical background on migration, biographical and migration related chronologies, appendices (which include new documents, as well as short descriptions on John Dos Passos’ writing), as well as inedited drawings, and photographs of John Dos Passos. As a result, this first-class analysis becomes an important casebook on Humanities, imperative to American Literature, Sociology and History.—Susana de Abreu

 


Günter Grass a Passo de Caranguejo

Biografia, Com Testemunhos de Mário Soares, Yvette Centeno, João Barrento e outros

2007. 272 p.

ISBN: 978-972-8532-02-4

 

Günter Grass was born in Danzig on 16 October 1927. During WWII he was conscripted into the Waffen-SS, having been wounded and imprisoned by the Allied forces. After the war, he studied fine arts in Düsseldorf and later on in Berlin, eventually becoming a sculptor. In 1959 he published Die Blechtrommel, which is widely regarded as his masterpiece and which was adapted to film by Volker von Schlöndorff in 1979. This film version went on to win the Palme d’Or in Cannes and the American Oscar. Soon afterwards, Günter Grass became involved with the socialist cause, and supported, amongst others, Willy Brandt’s campaign for the German chancellorship. During the Wiedervereinigung, Grass became a harsh critic of how the reunification was being conducted under Helmut Kohl’s administration. Grass was viciously attacked by the German press for his misgivings, although his concerns were not misplaced. Over the course of several years Günter Grass garnered numerous prizes for his literary work including, in 1999, the Nobel Prize for Literature. He lived in Lüneburg (Germany) and died in April 2015.

 

“An interesting and comprehensive book that narrates Grass’ life story until nowadays.” Dr. Filipe d’Avillez, Os Meus Livros (Portuguese Book Journal)

 

“Being Luso-Germanic, Miguel Oliveira finds himself often in-between two cultures, which he interiorized completely. He manages in perfection both the German and the Portuguese languages. His German linguistic affluence allowed him to establish an advantageous contact with the Nobel Prize laureate for Literature, Günter Grass. The elaboration of the first Portuguese biography on this German writer, resulted of this privileged relationship; so far the only up-to-date biography of this author in Portugal.” M.A. Duarte Mendonça, Portuguese Times (USA)

 


Vom Scheitern eines Traums

John Dos Passos und Migration

2007. 104 p.

ISBN: 978-3-8370-0768-8

 

This monograph discloses the importance of migration in John Dos Passos’ life and works and explains the reasons for his sympathy towards immigrants in the US; revealing additionally new biographical data on his grandfather’s reasons to leave Madeira for Baltimore (U.S.A.).

 

"Well done and scholarly!" Dr. Charles Townsend Ludington, Professor at the University of North Carolina and authorized John Dos Passos' biographer.

 

“I very much enjoyed your fine paper and how it dealt with the questions of migration and ethnicity, two central concerns in Dos Passos’s work!” Prof. Dr. John Trombold, Professor at the North Idaho College (USA)

 

“Your prose is excellent. Your thought is well articulated and you express yourself correctly; saying only the essential; qualities which became rare today.” Prof. Dr. Yvette K. Centeno, writer, Professor at the New University of Lisbon, and former Administrator at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

 


Kein Leben vor dem Tod

Der Versuch einer Biographie

2nd Edition. 2008. 108 p.

ISBN: 978-3-8370-0314-7

 

Jasmin is a teenager in love. Her suicide is therefore wholly unexpected to her friends and family. Shocked, they share with the reader their thoughts on the circumstances and reasons of her death. But, ultimately, the truth can only be revealed by Jasmin herself, through her diary entries, poems, and intimate letters.

 

“I enjoyed your narrative! I was moved by the story... It is well written…” Dr. António Dinis, the University of Vienna, Austria

 


Sem Título

2008. 144 p.

ISBN: 978-989-95704-6-7

 

“In his Untitled poems, Miguel Oliveira questions, among other things, the r/existence of the Portuguese poet, the lives of a married man and woman, the country’s economic, political, and structural crisis... He explores the more mundane aspects of daily life, finding in them the poetic moment. Oliveira’s language is clear and concise. His “trademark” is irony, the use of ambiguous words and a minimalistic approach to grammatical structures. True to his motto: “to read a poem is to be a poet...” he empowers the reader by handing over to him the responsibility of making sense of the words he uses. In this way, the mere act of reading becomes a challenging process of re/creation. Without a doubt, Untitled makes for passionate reading for all those enamoured with poetry!” Susana de Abreu

 

“I loved your Portuguese poems: they were concise and clear, modern but still poetical.” Dr. António Dinis, the University of Vienna, Austria

 


John Dos Passos’ Influence on Günter Grass: A Study on Two Memory-Writers and Two Distinct Approaches towards Migration as a Literary Theme

2008. 72 p.

ISBN: 978-3-8370-6624-1

 

This study reveals how Dos Passos influenced Günter Grass, who in 1999 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. It further compares their viewpoints on Flucht und Vertreibung (the expulsion of Germans from Central and Eastern Europe at the end of WWII).

 

“By means of writing on a German author and analysing the state of affairs of the Portuguese migration in the great world literature, Miguel Oliveira’s publication becomes a bridge between the German and the Portuguese cultures. I believe that his work will find a broad and interested audience, since his work includes information, testimonies and analyses that had not yet been available.” Prof. Dr. Peter Hanenberg, Professor at the Portuguese Catholic University, and President of the Portuguese German Philology Association

 


Classified and Confidential

F.B.I. File N.º 972497

Subject: John Dos Passos

2008. 192 p.

ISBN: 978-3-8370-7002-6

 

“I have no idea why the F.B.I. might be interested in some of the many communists I’ve known. […] I just can’t figure it out. It does sound as if the Federal Government now has „Thought Police“. What right does the Government have to investigate the political opinions of any private citizen? And if they want to know mine why the hell don’t they ask me?” John Dos Passos

 

“That story has never been told before. – This issue is very important to my father’s history. […] We need to remember how easy it is for the government to overreach in the investigation of its citizens. We should also take deportation more seriously. The irony of the government looking into deporting a third generation American is rich.” Lucy Hamlin Dos Passos Coggin

 

"Dr. Miguel Oliveira [...] is a fearless researcher. [...] Oliveira has looked into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s file on my grandfather. It is chilling to witness the length to which the federal government feared his thinking. I’m proud of my grandfather’s rare status as an independent, free-thinking, inquisitive, tolerant American. He loved people and he spent his life searching for the parameters of a society that would value human freedom." John Dos Passos Coggin

 

"It is clearly a valuable and well-researched work." Dr. Lisa Nanney, Professor at the Georgetown University (Qatar)

 

“A Journalistic-like investigation, with a literary reading clearly based on a sound knowledge of Dos Passos’s biographical data and writing matrix.–Unquestionably valuable pioneer material and input to suggest both researchers and readers new paths to a deeper understanding of Dos Passos.” Dr. Luísa Feneja, Professor at ISLA

 

“Oliveira describes in great detail how one of the major modernist writers was kept under surveillance by the F.B.I. Without a doubt an interesting book to read!” Dr. Susana de Abreu

 


Ensaios…

2009. 164 p.

ISBN: 978-3-8370-0941-7

 

This volume of critical essays analyses, amongst others, how the public opinion functions, Ödön von Horváth’s novel Being Youth without God, Erich Ohser’s Vater und Sohn stories, John Dos Passos’ and Günter Grass’ opinions on Flucht und Vertreibung, Dietrich Bonhoeffers’ theological approaches towards the tyrant, and Humberto Delgado’s role in the Portuguese resistance against Salazar’s dictatorship.

 

“Indeed, an interesting volume that deals with literature, history and culture.” Dr. honoris causa Mário Soares, Former Prime Minister and Former President of the Portuguese Republic

 

“A compulsory work to anyone who wishes to learn more about European history throughout the 20th century...” M.A. Duarte Mendonça, Portuguese Times, (USA)

 

 


Ödön von Horváth

Juventude sem Deus

(Translation and Preface by Miguel Oliveira)

2009. 206 p.

ISBN: 978-972-8966-59-1

 

Miguel Oliveira translated Ödön von Horváth’s novel: Being Youth without God into Portuguese.

 

“I would like to congratulate you on your translation of this masterpiece by Horváth. It is important to let the new generations know about a youth that had to live under a dictatorial regime.” Dr. honoris causa Mário Soares, Former Prime Minister and Former President of the Portuguese Republic

 

“As a great admirer of Horváth I am very thankful for this translation…” Prof. Dr. Teresa Seruya, Professor at the Portuguese Catholic University and the University of Lisbon

 

“The style of an observer. But an implicated observer.” Mário Santos, Expresso (Portuguese Newspaper)

 

The Translation Being Youth without God was classified by the Portuguese press as one of the most important publications of 2009. (In the national ranking Ödön von Horváth’s novel occupied rank 13.)

 


Manual de Aprendizagem,

Metodologia de Estudo e Técnicas de Comunicação e Expressão do Alemão

2009. 188 p.

ISBN: 978-3-8391-3423-8

 

Manual de Aprendizagem is a user-friendly student’s guide on self-learning; written in the Portuguese language. The book was sponsored by the Goethe Institute, Lisbon.

 


Uma Mão Cheia do Teu Sorrir

& Partiu à Meia-Noite

2009. 100 p.

ISBN: 978-989-20-1857-7

 

Uma Mão Cheia do Teu Sorrir… is a collection of three short stories that together compose a novella. It further includes a lyrical biography on Federico García Lorca.

 

“The latest book by Miguel Oliveira is a text of great compassion that makes you think of “O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis” by José Saramago. Once more, the reader is confronted with human cruelty and death. A work we vividly recommend.” Dr. António Dinis, the University of Vienna, Austria

 

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