Journal of Romance Studies

Beauty, power, and desire

Notes on Ana Luísa Amaral’s poetics

Journal of Romance Studies (2019), 19, (3), 469–485.


Ana Luísa Amaral’s critical engagement with tradition, be it Portuguese, European, or American, establishes new parameters for poetry today and brings us new modes of understanding textual and material conditions. I propose some modes of reading her poetry towards a wider understanding of the importance of contemporary poetry for literary theory. Ana Luísa Amaral develops a continuous meta-poetic reflection characterized by an acute and lucid preoccupation with beauty and desire. Often subversive, her poetics is inextricably enmeshed with ethics and hence with a specific form of being political. Ana Luísa Amaral excessively demonstrates the fundamental excess of poetry and shows the importance of poetics and poetry in today’s world. Drawing on a poetics of the fragment, she also refuses any sort of originary or foundational aesthetics. In her work, the poetic is always a return otherwise, an ‘avesso’, or the other side of the mirror of language.

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Author details

de Medeiros, Paulo