chapter  63
5 Pages

Lisbon through the eyes of a writer: Literature, architecture and city memories in the novel O Secreto Adeus

WithMiguel Baptista Bastos

Baptista-Bastos (1933/2017) can be considered the last writer in Portugal, whose work of fiction has usually been circumscribed thematically to the city of Lisbon. Spanning several generations, his work undergoes a constant change, depending on how the city ages and on the urban transformation that follows: writer and city converge in a unique and singular process, where both protagonists walk side by side through time and space: always together and never apart.

Using language, the reader grasps an idea of the city, throughout the ages and different periods.

Is this an architecture that exists as a theme for the existence of a narrative, or is this a narrative that absorbs architecture in order to conduct its own fiction? The memory of a place and its spatial composition are joined and transformed into a written record.

In our investigation, we attempt understanding his written work within the limits of an urban context. It will include an interview with the author himself. The interview will focus mainly on his first novel, O Secreto Adeus [The Secret Goodbye], written in 1963, alongside the various places in Lisbon where the action of the novel takes place. We will attempt a diachronic comparison of these same places over time: from the time narrated in the novel until the present day.