Artistic movement: rupture with what the younger generation of poets considered as the classic academic (sterile) art/litt. of the late 19th century. In an attempt to come to term with the progress and the horror of the 20th century, they tried to create for themselves a new identity, a new way of describing their world. Modernists formed movements, groups and wrote manifestos declaring their values
Ex: Surrealism, futurism, cubism = new perceptions of familiar objects
- In Brazil, an economic boom at the beginning of the century led to political changes (eco as well). Brazil was a republic since 1889 and each State was autonomous and Slavery was abolished since 1888. In terms of economy, the country was producing and exporting huge quantities of raw products
- 1922: 82% of the world’s coffee /// cotton and Rubber were also very important (26% of the revenue)
- 1930 coffee represented 70% of Brazil’s revenue.
- Economics and Politics: The most powerful landowners, known as coronéis, were often key figures in local and national politics.
- Primeira República: 1889-1930. (Bandeira à 1886-1968) Café com Leite period because of an alliance between SP coffee elite and MG dairy products elite. They ran national politics and alternated power between one another. Main Brazilian cities were experiencing industrialisation, which led to politicisation and the beginning of unions and civil rights unions as well. Massive immigration : 3,8 m foreigners came between 1827 and 1930 to start a new life and work in coffee plantations (post-slavery) or in the manufactures. 2,7m Europeans and large numbers from Japan especially in SP and from the Middle East (Lebanese, Syrians and Turks)à multicultural aspect reflected in modernism.
Literature was more and more popular as the newspaper industry expanded.
Writers could expose their art in instalments, newspapers and art magazines (for elite though) they were also making their opinions heard through crônicas in magazines.
Period of success (poetry, prose fiction, …) all rejecting each other with vehemence. Lit critics like to categorize poets into groups and movements.
Artists were proud of saying they belonged to a group.
Challenge of the conservative cultural establishment Parnasianismo, movement formulated initially in France but took off in Brazil. Ancient Greek Gods and poems
No reference to social reality. Supreme Goal was to achieve the perfect formà L’art pour l’art. Parnasianismo was a prestigious movement and represented the establishment in literary and social terms because it belonged to the upper class
Mysticism and Musicality
- Mysticism and Musicality: if language is used imaginatively, the reader can be transported beyond the rational bounders to another realm.
- They were experimenting with new patterns. They were even using free verse. The poem from Cruz e Souza, the son of a slave and ruled abolitionist and anti racist poetry. It was never as influent as P. but influenced Modernismo.
- Modernistas exploded the conventions of poetry both in form and shape.
- Primeira geração woud try to bring real life into poetry.
- Strange experiences of modernity and constant change in a multicultural society.
- In contrast to imported ideas and ideologies from Europe that didn’t fit Brazil.
- To shake off the belief following which everything coming from Europe was superior.
- Young men were educated in Coimbra and young ladies should speak French
- To build a Brazilian identity, they also focused on the times before colonization and embraced indigenous cultures
Oswald de Andrade
à Oswald de Andrade: 1928 “Tupi or not Tupi, that is the question”. Cultural cannibalism, applauded and seen as the way to assert a cultural BAIL.
In 1912, he brought back from France the futurist manifesto, which embraced mechanization, speed,…. In February 1922, he organized the first Semana de Arte Moderna, a forum where artists could expose their ideas. à See hand-out
The public reaction was to mock. However, this week is still held afterwards. It was planned to coincide with the centenary of Independence. The belief in a new independence. It also worked as a catalyst, inspired young artists to write, from every social or “racial” background à Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
1924: Manifesto da Poesia Pau Brasil
They all described the progress in their life, in their regions, the rural or urban city life, the multi cultural life: reflected social inequality and tried to express what it meant to be Brazilian. Emphasis on the mundane, day to day life in the Streets. Not just abstract ideas.
Much more obvious and explicit of humour à not only irony but wit and puns.
Their poems talked about illness and death, childhood, human body and its functions.
Oswald, plus extraverti
Macunaima, um herói sem nenhum carácterà livre de Mario de Andrade
Bandeira is known as São João Baptista because his poetry inspired the rest of the Modernists, whose works were more radical
His poetry develops over time and develops from symbolism into modernism
Described by Davi Arrigucci Jr as “The poet of daily humbleness”
Deals with poetry autobiographically, often in colloquial language and in free verse
Although it is not always appropriate for readers to fuse the identities of poets and their characters, there are cases when the poetic voice is actually voicing the thoughts/feelings of the author
Poetry reflects his personal situation; therefore essential to know his life
- Born in Recife 1886, describes Recife life as a mythical place at a mythical time
- Paints an innocent view of the city, remembers senses first with its own “lingua certa do povo”
- Grandfather, Tomazia, Haza
- When he was 10 he moved to Rio
- 1903 (17yo) he went to São Paulo to study architecture
- Diagnosed with TB during his course
- Only treatment available was complete rest: read and wrote poetry
- Very dramatic kind of illness
- TB would enhance sensitivity, makes you prone to being artistic (literary disease)
- Poems have a sense of abandonment, loneliness (given death sentence by doctor)
- Met Paul Eluard in Switzerland
- Pneumotórax – poem about TB – painful draining of fluid from the lungs
- Attitude to death changes: he becomes more lighthearted about it rather than morbid an depressed
- Had to rely on pensions, but later become a teacher and lecturer in Latin American literature
- Close family all died in a period of a few years (Mother -1916, Sister -1918, Father – 1920, Brother – 1922)
Life as a poet
- In 1917 was convinced that he wanted to follow a literary career
- Modernismo, paranismo/symbolism/traditional poetry
- Then became stylistically and metrically more daring in his next two collections (contributed to modernist magazines)
- Fourth publication: Libertinagem (1930) hailed as his first fully modernist collection
- “Um livro de cristalização. Não da poesia, mas da psicologia dele”
- The space and house he grew up in influenced his poetry
- 1920-1933: lived in a house on a hill in Rio
- Enjoyed the company of (poor) children
- 1936: Estrela de mañha
- A collection of poems written between 1930-36
- Got friends to invest in his work and help publish it
- Wrote articles for newspapers and essays on literature
- Won a literary prize in 1937 (51yo), was the first time he earned any money from poetry
- Never vain/arrogant: keen to explain what he feels about the world
- Libertinagem – transgression, debauchery
- Moved to descriptive poems of the world around him
- 1935: communist attempt at a coup against someone
- Dictatorship lasts from 1937-45