Portuguese language featured in Chinese Communist Party newspaper
An official Communist Party of China (CPC) newspaper published a report on the teaching of Portuguese in China and Portuguese literature translated into Chinese, highlighting Luís de Camões and Fernando Pessoa.
“Although not particularly well-known in China, it does not mean that there are no Chinese fans of Portuguese literature,” writes the Global Times, the English-language newspaper of the People’s Daily group, the central body of the PCC.
The newspaper compares the “profound impact” of Os Lusíadas, in Portugal and in Portuguese literature, with the importance of author William Shakespeare in the Anglo-Saxon universe.
And highlights the popularity of Fernando Pessoa: “another name that can not be avoided.”
“The great author is one of the most popular Portuguese writers in China,” he says.
It was only in 1999 that Pessoa’s work was first published in mainland China, but Portuguese is appreciated by many writers and artists in the country.
“Chinese people who truly love literature are very fond of Pessoa,” said Cheng Yisheng, a doctorate in literature and professor at the University of Henan.
Cheng, who has already published several poems by Alberto Caeiro translated from English, recalled that Pessoa’s work “unites poetry and reflection, something rare in Chinese poetry that tends to be more emotive or narrative.”
“He makes a very good analysis of how people feel in urban environments. He is a deep poet, far ahead of his time and understands modern man,” he said.
With a score of 9 points, on a scale of 0 to 10, in Douban, a Chinese portal of literary and cinematographic criticism, Pessoa’s most popular work is “The Book of Disquiet,” signed by the heteronym Bernardo Soares, reveals the Global Times.
The newspaper also highlights the growing number of Portuguese-language courses on the Chinese mainland, where 25 universities now have degrees in Portuguese.
Also, several events with Portuguese artists will be held throughout 2019 in China, including film festivals, literature, theatre or music, in parallel with the year of China in Portugal, in a program designed by the two governments.
“Culture is a fundamental instrument to bring people together, to dialogue and to create joint emotions,” the Portuguese ambassador to Beijing, told José Augusto Duarte.
“This will be a year that will greatly strengthen the visibility of the great talent of the Portuguese to the Chinese public opinion,” he said.
This year marks the 40th anniversary since Portugal and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations on February 8, 1979.