Dr Simon Park
Simon’s research focuses on literature from across the Portuguese-speaking world in the Early Modern period. He is particularly interested in the Sociology of Literature, Literary History, and History of the Book, and combines digital approaches to texts with philology and close reading.
His doctoral thesis examined the verse epistles of the long-neglected poet, Diogo Bernardes, and showed how these candid and playful texts reveal much about the changing socio-professional status of poets at the end of the sixteenth century. It argued that Bernardes is a transitional figure in the history of literature in Portugal, because he occupied a difficult position between aristocratic amateur and professional hack and printed his poetry at a time when this was almost unheard of for vernacular poets in Portugal. Underlining Bernardes’s creativity in expressing his status anxiety and in attempting to squeeze his patrons for money, this thesis recovered a remarkable poetic voice from the Renaissance and brought back to life Bernardes’s endless quest for riches and renown.
Simon’s current project uses digital network visualisation tools to offer a new vision of the fraught and fragile associations that animated the lives of writers in sixteenth-century Iberia. It challenges the ‘imagined sovereignties’ of nation and language that have typically structured accounts of Iberia’s literary history, uncovering the surprising connections between poets writing in Portuguese, Spanish, Latin from across the Peninsula and exploring how they imagined their communities and social circles.
Simon is also interested in Portuguese Modernism(s) and has recently edited a book on the work of Mário de Sá-Carneiro.
Simon is responsible for students reading Portuguese at St Anne’s, Merton, and Lincoln. He gives lectures and tutorials on various aspects of Portuguese literature in the early modern period, including prelims (paper IV) and FHS courses (papers VII, X, XII, and XIV), and teaches translation classes (Portuguese to English) at all levels.
In Trinity Term 2019, Simon is a Faculty Fellow at the Ashmolean Museum, developing a new course that brings the literature of the discoveries in contact with the material and visual culture of the age.
(edited with Fernando Beleza) Mário de Sá-Carneiro, A Cosmopolitan Modernist (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016)
(forthcoming) ‘Authorship and Originality in Seventeenth-Cenutry Iberia: Faria e Sousa’s Rimas Várias de Luís de Camoens’, Renaissance Studies
‘Diogo Bernardes’s Brandura’, MLQ, 78.4 (2017), 465-89
‘‘O What Words Can Do!’: Rhetoric and the Moral Ambiguities of António Ferreira’s Castro’, Portuguese Studies, 33.1 (2017), 7-21
‘Problemas de género n’O Lima de Diogo Bernardes: A questão do mecenato’, Veredas, 23 (2015), 127-44
(Forthcoming) ‘Beyond Comprehension: Language, Identity and the Transnational in Gil Vicente’s Theatre’, in Hilary Owen and Claire Williams, eds, Transnational Portuguese Studies (Liverpool University Press)
‘Eu serei então um bárbaro?’: Art, Desire, and Artistic Belonging in Mário de Sá-Carneiro’, in Fernando Beleza and Simon Park, eds, Mário de Sá-Carneiro, A Cosmopolitan Modernist (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016), pp. 91-112
Mário de Sá-Carneiro, ‘Beyond-Boredom & That Other One’, Santa Barbara Portuguese Studies, 1 (2017)
Helena Buescu, ‘Small Holocausts: The Devastation of the Self’, in Stephen Parkinson and Cláudia Pazos Alonso, eds, Reading Literature in Portuguese (Oxford: Legenda, 2013)
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