Brazil Travel

Brazilian Literature

Major Literary Figures in Brazilian Literature
After Brasil gained its independence in 1822, a search for a unique cultural identity was begun. While colonial literature had drawn from Portuguese and Catholic influences, the young Brasil turned to English, French and German literature and was infused with Romanticism, along with strong nationalistic sentiments. Modernistic trends in Brazilian literature dove deeper into exploring the emerging national character, and became regionalized, with early modernists circling in Sao Paulo. Contemporary voices are seeped in pride for their country and rich prose, with several major writers emerging in the post WWII era.

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
In the late 19th century this man was the leading literary figure in Brazil. Born in Rio de Janeiro his best works are deep psychological studies with irony and wit, and are deeply European in style. "Philosopher or Dog?" and "Dom Casmurro" are his two major works. He is also considered master of the short story, including works such as "The Psychiatrist" and "The Devil's Church."

Joao Guimaraes Rosa
This man was a major force in the Modernist literature of Brazil, reinventing the use of language with coined word combinations and unrestrained syntax play. His work was rooted in the place he was born, the sertao. Works include "The Third Bank of the River" and the famous short story "Sagarana." What brought him to international status was his work "The Devil to Pay in the Backlands", written in 1956 and translated into English in 1963.

Jorge de Lima
A great contemporary poet, he practiced as a medical doctor in northeastern Brazil, and he became the leader of Brazilian regionalist poetry in the 1920's, shaking off the heavy influence of French Parnassian Poets with his "O Mundo do Menino

Jorge Amado
One of the "regionalist" writers that emerged with the coming of Modernism, he wrote of his native state of Bahia, in works such as "Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon" for which he has received international acclaim. His earlier works also focus on his home areas yet are written in a much more negative light, deeply influenced by Marxist ideologies and depicting the struggles of the cocoa plantation workers.

Vinicius de Moraes
Another contemporary poet who passed away in 1988, his poetry was used to form the bossa nova musical movement that produced a new style of samba. Vinicius became internationally known when his play, "Orfeu da Conceicao", became an international film "Black Orpheus".

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