Martins and Eça: Transtextual Interpretations, Theories of History, Social and Economic Theory
Several ideas taken seriously by the Portuguese economist, historian and social theorist Oliveira Martins (1845-94), and as such exposed in an academically respectable fashion, suffer a literary parody by his friend, the novelist Eça de Queirós (1845-1900), in his oriental novels, in a tonality in which dominate the chiaroscuro and the labyrinth-like mood. Amongst those are: the importance of randomness in history, Arian supremacy and the opposition between the so-called European and Chinese models of economy and society. Distancing himself from the alleged erudition and scientific positions of Martins, Eça allows himself to express sympathy towards the whole of human experience. The social reality towards which Eça was less sympathetic was indeed probably the Portuguese one.
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