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cover art for Return to Camões’ “Isle of Love” w/ Min

The Kingless Generation

Return to Camões’ “Isle of Love” w/ Min

Ep. 49

I thought I had a hot take in response to the Little Mermaid discourse last year, but predictably I’m not the first one to think of reading the Isle of Venus in Camões’ Lusiads against the Age of Exploration diary entries in which roving European savages discuss their adventures in more complex Indigenous kinship structures where sex was not commodified and the family was not specialized to pass down private property—as well as (what one suspects was actually much more common) rolling up on Indigenous women around the world and committing sexual violence. Sure enough, my guest Min has written an entire scholarly thesis on two different poetic re-imaginings of the Isle of Venus which highlight the colonial violence that Camões’ poem works to conceal: one by a white Anglo woman in Brazil, and another by the leader of the Angolan revolution against Portuguese domination, António Agostinho Neto.

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