Abstract This article underlines the role of a major hypotext (The Lusiads by Luís de Camões) in the writing of a contemporary Portuguese novel (The Return of the Caravels by António Lobo Antunes), in which literary heritage
may be seen as a determinant frame for textual innovation. In particular the article examines the way in which contemporary events may be better understood if viewed as if their adopted ideological meaning is in a dynamic relation with their fictional representation. Post-colonialism and parody
are thus considered here in a way that allows us to conclude that ‘rewriting may be seen as the fiction of history, or at least as a way of presenting history as personal experience and active commitment’.
Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.