In the twentieth century, scholars have written about the theory and practice of literary criticism more than at any time in the past. Luso-Brazilian, particularly Brazilian, literary criticism has benefitted from this surge of interest. As in any pioneer endeavor, the most general tasks have been undertaken first. The result has been a hazy notion of individual contributions by scholars in that area. In this dissertation I assume the charge of addressing the heretofore undeveloped assessment of Fidelino de Figueiredo's principal contributions to Luso-Brazilian literary theory.
The Introduction and first chapter provide an evaluation of Figueiredo's personal experiences and philosophical attitudes as they relate to his literary criticism. In the remaining chapters I analyze Figueiredo's theory from historical, national, and international perspectives. These analyses show that Figueiredo has coherently approached the compelling issues of literary theory that have continued to challenge scholars ever since Plato and Aristotle began literary debate. What I have called Figueiredo's "tensional theory" takes cognizance of topics that have formed modern schools of criticism (e.g., the New Criticism, phenomenology, structuralism) while maintaining a unique position in relation to them all.
I discuss the theory of literary history in two chapters wherein I show that Figueiredo represents one of two traditions in Portuguese literary history. His aesthetically based history stands in opposition to a preponderant socio-political current. In the last chapter I demonstrate the importance of Figueiredo's theoretical strength through a comparative analysis of practical literary history.
The aggregate analytical studies support two conclusions: one, that Figueiredo's literary criticism, particularly in Brazil, has had great influence, and two, that its influence and value have been overlooked by scholars who have written about the development of Luso-Brazilian criticism.
Spanish & Portuguese (PhD)
Level of Degree
Spanish and Portuguese
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Marshall Rutherford Nason
Third Committee Member
John Joseph Bergen
Murphy, Terrance Joseph. "Theory In Fidelino De Figueiredo's Literary Criticism And Literary History: His Place In The Theoretical Continuum." (1977). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/span_etds/134