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This volume analyzes Portuguese texts from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, reading them as symptoms of a haywire paternal function. Authors studied include Eça de Queirós, Almeida Garrett, António Lobo Antunes, José Régio, José Cardoso Pires, Helder Macedo, and Gomes de Amorim. Historical figures interrogated include Dom Sebastião, Prince Henry the Navigator, and the dictators Sidónio Pais and Salazar. A Lacanian framework provides the backdrop for much of the discussion, as Rothwell draws parallels in the cultural appropriations of the father figure at different historical moments. He argues that both nineteenth-century and contemporary Portuguese authors suggest that the wholesale abandonment of the paternal function in favor of the market transaction after revolutions comes at an intolerably high price for the Portuguese individual's psychic well-being. At the same time, Rothwell shows how paternal metaphors have consistently been corrupted in the Portuguese imaginary from the time of Fernão Lopes through the imperial expansion and decline to the twentieth-century dictatorships.