Breves observações sobre a noção de saudade: símbolo cultural e paradoxo = Brief observations on the notion of saudade: cultural symbol and paradox


This paper seeks to problematize certain aspects of the notion of saudade, a peculiar Lusophone word known for being a “cultural symbol” of the Brazilian-Portuguese subjectivity, yet intricate to translate. The main purpose is to shed light on aspects the theme unfolds and point out the hypothesis of a supposed contradiction, a paradox of the term saudade, a word that must be understood as a feeling containing in its core pairs such as pleasure-pain, joy-sorrow, happiness-sadness, good-bad. To do so, this paper does not make use of established theses previously put forward, lines of interpretation, literary schools or specific scholars. Nor will it attain to the debates over it in philology and linguistics, anthropology, sociology or history. Instead, this article aims at highlighting certain nuances of such diversified notion at first, to then show in what measure saudade could signify a conceptual paradox through the attributions and characteristics typically associated with it, such as the desire of returning to a “happy” past, together with the nostalgic pain, melancholy and sorrow brought by the impossibility to do so. For the latter, we resort to passages of popular Brazilian songs and poems.

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DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n8p7

Keywords: Saudade; Pain; Nostalgia; Melancholy; Happiness; Paradox

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