"MIA COUTO - MOZAMBICKI SZAMAN SŁOWA", Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań.
Yet another of my weekly conferences that I find relaxing. I'm glad to say that finally I'm among friends in a Polish Lusophone studies context. It hasn't always been the case. The event was small, but down to the essential part of this academic milieu in Poland: that means me, Renata Diaz-Szmidt, Wojciech Charchalis and some younger people. Yet it was just enough to think about publishing a small shared volume on Mia Couto and planning for the next event of a similar kind.
Not a particular fan of Mia Couto, I spoke about just one novel, Um rio chamado tempo, uma casa chamada terra. I find it particularly interesting as it comes close to one of my topics: the emergence of transcolonial intellectual. I want to illustrate this topic by sketching a triangulation of three apparently distant writers: Couto in Mozambique, Azergui in Morocco and Masłowska in Poland. All of them deal with the discovery of writing (yes, even Masłowska, as she represents, in Paw królowej, the hip-hop orality of a working class marginalized by intelligentsia, a typically Polish social category monopolizing the written culture).
In all these cases, the young heroes use the writing to solve the problems generated by the imperfect freedom of the previous, post-colonial generation. They become intellectuals - yet beyond the definition of the intellectual as the central instance of modernity and modernization. They represent a paradoxical link of solidarity with everything that is ancestral, giving it a written expression.