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Culture

Angola's greatest anthology of poetry is on the street to tell the country's history

The greatest anthology of national poetry took to the streets and for the first time is on sale in Portugal, bringing together the thoughts of poets who since the 21st century have been the creative mirror of the various sociological aspects of Angola.

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"Between the Moon, Chaos and Silence: the Flower" is the title of this work organized by Irene Guerra Marques and Carlos Ferreira and which is "the most comprehensive, plural and free Angolan anthology ever published", according to the publisher that publishes it (War and peace).

The work, which brings together names such as Agualusa, Manuel Rui, Ana Paula Tavares, Lopito Feijóo, Amélia Dalomba or Ondjaki, will hit newsstands on Tuesday, after a not-so-complete edition was published in Angola in 2011.

The poet Carlos Ferreira, one of the organizers of the work, stresses the richness of the data collected for this edition, which cross the "beginnings of Angolan literature" and end in the last generation of poets, now 20, 30 years old.

"Angolan poetry, like that of any other country, has a lot to do with the past, present and future reality," said the writer to the Lusa agency, adding that this "has followed the evolution of the entire political process and is a creative mirror. of the various sociological aspects of Angola ".

For Carlos Ferreira, known as Cassé, there is in this work a common aspect that has been identified throughout the targeted centuries: "The sense of profound angolanity, without chauvinisms, integrated in the concert of the African and the universal".

"Angolan poetry never had chauvinistic characteristics. It is an extremely patriotic literature, with a deep sense of land, but at the same time open to the influences of Africa and the whole world", he continued.

The 700 pages of the book are divided into three parts: Forms of verbal art or oration, the precursors (17th and 19th centuries) and modernity and contemporaneity (20th and 21st centuries).

Carlos Ferreira considers that the entire work identifies "the belief that in some way Angola will turn around the problems it lives in".

"There is a great reaffirmation of literary autonomy, the independence of the authors and their absolute freedom of expression", he stressed.

The author identifies differences with the 80s (of the 20th century), when in Angola it was common to see anyone popular with a book under their arms.

"Books have become more expensive there, as everywhere, there is a more complicated access to books, even due to the weak economic power of people, but there is still a lot of interest and then we have the compensation, which is not always positive, of being able make the disclosure by PDF, by email, over the net, through these more contemporary ways ", he said.

Carlos Ferreira believes that the reader, by reading the authors of this anthology, will be able to get to know Angola and the evolution of its historical process much better.

"[It gives] a portrait of Angola, which is not the media, of the daily life, which appears on the news, of many news (and some grounded) that present the critical situation that we live in, but another perspective of the country, of how the Angolan thinks, what the Angolan feels and how the Angolan lives ", he commented.

In addition to Carlos Ferreira, researcher Irene Guerra Marques, author of the first anthology of Angolan literature (Poesia de Angola), in 1976, and several books and works in the areas of linguistics and literary research, participated in the organization of this anthology.

The Angolan writer Boaventura Cardoso underlines in this work the "serious and remarkable methodological scope, together with a rigorous systematization of data that give rise to other socio-historical readings".

And he adds: "This poetic anthology certainly fills a gap in the literary studies of Angola".

On the cover of this book, with the three faces of the core painted by hand, there is an illustration of the master José Rodrigues, author of the various drawings in the interior.