The studies concerning written culture of the sixteenth century onwards have downgraded the manuscripts to a less important place in relation to the printed books, based on two main assumptions: (1) that the manuscript was not circulating, or in small size, with little effect upon its contemporary readers, and (2) that the lack of printing attested a lesser editorial interest in the manuscript at the time of its production. Today we know that both presuppositions are in most cases not confirmed, if we take into account the different purposes of writing between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Many manuscripts, from the most diverse genres (poetic, political, polemical), circulated intensely without ever being printed, either by express wish of their authors or by the possibility of being kept apart from religious or political censorship. Based on rigid rhetorical principles, all writing presupposed the presence of a reader who, in the press, faded, while in the manuscript remained visible. It was the case with so much poetry and theater, philosophical writings and texts of doctrinal controversy, among others, whose destination is an essential factor of the sense of discourse. Our postdoctoral project dwells on the manuscripts of Fr. Inacio de Santa Teresa, Archbishop of Goa between 1721 and 1740. His papers denouncing the missionary procedures of the Jesuits in India, sent to be read in Lisbon, anchored in Bahia and there they were discussed and challenged, evidencing a wide literary circulation handwritten among Portuguese domains. Our study aims to measure this circulation, in particular with regard to the headquarters of the State of India, Goa, and the State of Brazil, between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, focusing in this case on the writings of religious controversy concerning fr. Inácio de Santa Teresa.
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