History Hour 59 – “Three fleeting voices”: Vimala Devi, Maria Elsa da Rocha and Epitacio Pais by Dr. Paul Melo e Castro held on Tuesday, 6th July, 2010.

This talk centred on three Goan short-story writers from the 1960s: Vimala Devi, Maria Elsa da Rocha and Epitácio Pais. As well as analyzing the themes, styles and concerns of these authors, Dr Melo e Castro attempted to locate their work in relation to Lusophone Goan writing and describe some of the challenges this body of literature presented to post-colonial literary studies in general. The material covered in this talk was drawn from a wider project focusing on twentieth-century Portuguese-language short stories from Goa. In his discussion of the three writers in question, he touched upon some of the theoretical difficulties he had faced so far concerning issues of representation, canon formation and comparison in literary studies.

Dr. Paul Melo e Castro is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin-American Studies at the University of Leeds in England. His research interests include post-colonial writing from the actual and former Lusophone world. Current and forthcoming publications on Goan themes include: “ E eu, que não conhecia nada”: ‘Vimala Devi’s Monção’s A Dama de Chandor (1998)’ and ‘Of Prison Walls and Barroom Brawls: Postcolonial Categories in  Mia Couto’s ‘De Como se Vazou A vida de Ascolino do Perpétuo Socorro’ and Laxmanrao Sardessai’s ‘O Barco da África/the Africa Boat’ and  ‘Into the Unknown: the Short Fiction of Epitácio Pais’.

Dr Paul Melo e Castro

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