Camões Prize 2023 awarded to João Barrento

The greatest prize in Portuguese-language literature has been awarded this year to essayist, translator and literary critic João Barrento, a contributor to Electra magazine.

joao barrento

© Bruno Rascão

The announcement from the Portuguese Ministry of Culture highlights his "relevant and unique body of work, in which essays and literary translations stand out. In particular, his translations of German-language literature, ranging from the Middle Ages to contemporary times and in all literary genres, form the most consistent body of literary translations in our cultural heritage and are undoubtedly a means of enriching the language and disseminating the great works of world literature in Portuguese."

The winner of the 35th edition of the Camões Prize published a text in issue 9 of Electra entitled "The whole man must move at once... or, are ethics and aesthetics one?" in which he argues that great literature has always been the object of scandal and that it knows no limits. Electra returns to this theme of the relationship between author and work, and the morality of both, in the dossier section of issue 22.

Previous editions of this the prize, instituted by the governments of Portugal and Brazil and worth 100,000 euros, have been awarded to authors such as Chico Buarque (Brazil), Mia Couto (Mozambique), António Lobo Antunes (Portugal), Agustina Bessa-Luís (Portugal), Maria Velho da Costa (Portugal), Eugénio de Andrade (Portugal), Pepetela (Angola), Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (Portugal), Eduardo Lourenço (Portugal), José Saramago (Portugal), Jorge Amado (Brazil), Vergílio Ferreira (Portugal), and Silviano Santiago (Brazil), an author who also collaborated in the 8th and 9th editions of Electra.