Island Narrative and Bridge- Building: Postapocalyptic Isle of Love in Agualusa’s Os vivos e os outros

  • Wang Yuan Peking University
Keywords: African literature, Camões, Nietzsche, writing community, intertextuality


This essay reads Os vivos e os outros, a novel published in 2020 by Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa, as a rewrite of both Luís de Camões’s Ilha dos Amores (Isle of Love) in Os Lusíadas and Friedrich Nietzsche’s Glücklichen Inseln (Blessed Islands) in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Drawing on the iconic elements of love from Camões and the will of creation from Nietzsche, while challenging the spatiotemporal settings of the classic island narrative in a postapocalyptic setting, Agualusa engages in renovating the island metaphor by examining the fundamentals of contemporary African literary production, conveying his belief that a successful outward projection of African voice relies on finding its connections with the people and the (is)land.