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On the Matter of Authority in Almeida Garrett’s Frei Luís de Sousa

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Chapter Summary

This article reflects on the concept of authority by taking into account the writing and transmission history of Frei Luís de Sousa, the most influential play by the Romanic Portuguese author Almeida Garrett (1799-1854). Following Siegfried Scheibe’s view on this concept, I argue that all extant versions of the play are authorized and that, in different degrees, all of them offer resistance to Garrett’s intent on controlling the text. When, towards the end of his life, Garrett decided to establish his literary archive, his attitudes and thinking support the Scheibe’s notion that all “discarded stages, transitional and no longer of interest” exist on an equal footing with the printed text (Scheibe 1995, 175). This non-hierarchical approach to the extant versions is the basis for an assessment of a critical edition of the play published in 1943 and of another on-going edition of Garrett’s text.



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