Critical Edition of the "Complete Poems of José Basílio da Gama"

José Basílio da Gama, Complete Poems. Critical Edition by Alexandra Mariano, Ana Paula Tavares, Francisco Topa and Vania Pinheiro Chaves (coordinator)

This project aims to publish a critical edition of all the poetic production of José Basílio da Gama, who, being of the utmost importance for the history of the literatures of Portugal and Brazil, and in particular for understanding the Luso-Brazilian eighteenth century, was not yet subject to a complete and accurate publishing project.

The only collection of his poems presently in the market is a reprint of the volume prepared by José Veríssimo at the beginning of the last century, and discoveries made ever since have shown this to be incomplete and defective. 

The research in various libraries, archives and other public and private institutions of Portugal, Brazil and Italy led by the researchers of this project enabled the gathering of over a hundred documents, many of which were unknown, the most important being the Brasilienses Aurifodinae, much speculated before, but whose existence was often denied. Besides the previously unpublished texts, published texts with errors that misrepresent their meaning were found, which reinforces the need for an edition of Basílio da Gama’s poetry, to provide the reader with texts as close as possible to the original, excised from later interventions not of the author, which may have been unintended (typesetting or reading errors) or intentional (ultracorrection, censorship, contamination of witnesses). In order to put together a critical text of Basilian poems serving the greatest possible number of readers, it was decided to carefully modernize their spelling.