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Ford of Harvard. For the index I am indebted to my wife. Students of Brazilian letters will not find it difficult to multiply instances from their personal experience with educated friends. Although Brazil was not discovered until the opening year of the sixteenth century, the name had long hovered in the mediaeval consciousness together with that of those other mysterious islands which peopled the maps and the imaginations of the dark, fantastic days. Down from the Greeks had come the legend of an Atlantis, which, through the centuries assumed changing shapes, losing soon its status as continent and becoming an island.

Thus, in a map of the Atlas Medicis, dating back to , there is registered a Brazil. Charles Squire, in his The Mythology of the British Islands , [1] relates that according to legend, the gods having lost their celestial dwelling, deliberated upon some earthly substitute. However this may be, the first name officially given to Brazil was The Land of the True or Holy Cross; only later did the name Brazil, said to have been bestowed by King Emanuel of Portugal, replace the pious title. There is something symbolic in the change; brazil [2] is the name of the reddish dyewood which became so important commercially that it caused naval combats and Portuguese-French rivalry, leading to the effective occupation of the land by the Portuguese.

The beam of the cross yielded to a humbler wood as the national designation, just as the pious pretensions of the early colonizers quickly vanished before their impious greed. The early reports of the newly discovered land lived up to the paradisical visions that had partly inspired the quest.

Truly here was a land of promise, a terrestrial paradise that made men dip their pens in milk and honey when they wrote of its wonders. From the very beginning the new discovery had captivated the imaginations of the Europeans; to this day its chief quality is the imagination which Senhor Aranha, in a speech at the Sorbonne has distinguished from the imagination of other peoples. It is not the faculty of idealization, nor the creation of life through esthetic expression, nor the predominance of thought; it is rather the illusion that comes from the representation of the universe, the state of magic, in which reality is dissipated and is transformed into an image.

Each people brought to the fusion its own melancholy. Each, having arrived with a spirit full of the terror of several gods, with the anguish of memories of a past forever lost, was possessed by the indefinable uneasiness of the foreign land. Thus was developed that implacable sensibility which magnifies and distorts things, which alternately exalts and depresses the spirits, which translates anxieties and desires; a troubled source of poetry and religion, through which we aspire to the possession of the Infinite, only to lose ourselves at once in the Nirvana of inaction and day-dreaming.

Brazil, however, is not all forest any more than, intellectually, it is all tropical confusion. There are mountains and valleys and extensive coasts, and each region has a distinguishing influence upon the inhabitant. The man of the coast is nervous, of acute sensibility; he can smile and laugh, he has a brilliant imagination and is a boisterous, turbulent thinker; he is an artist, preferring colored images to abstract ideas; he is slender, of well-proportioned lines, speaks at his best when improvising, discusses affairs with the utmost ease, and at times with daring, and generally respects only his own opinions; he is almost always proud and bold.

The trade wind, blowing on the eastern coast of South America, and proceeding from the east, crosses the Atlantic ocean, and therefore reaches the land charged with the vapours accumulated in its passage. These vapours, on touching the shore, are, at periodical intervals, condensed into rain; and as their progress westward is checked by that gigantic chain of the Andes, which they are unable to pass, they pour the whole of their moisture on Brazil, which, in consequence, is often deluged by the most destructive torrents.

This abundant supply, being aided by that vast river-system peculiar to the eastern part of America, and being also accompanied by heat, has also stimulated the soil into an activity unequalled in any other part of the world. Brazil, which is nearly as large as the whole of Europe, is covered with a vegetation of incredible profusion. Indeed, so rank and luxuriant is the growth, that Nature seems to riot in the very wantonness of its power. But, amid this pomp and splendour of Nature, no place is left for Man. He is reduced to insignificance by the majesty with which he is surrounded.

The forces that oppose him are so formidable, that he has never been able to make head against them, never able to rally against their accumulated pressure. The whole of Brazil, notwithstanding its immense apparent advantages, has always remained entirely uncivilized, its inhabitants, wandering savages, incompetent to resist these obstacles which the very bounty of Nature had put in their way.

It is thus that the energies of Nature have hampered the spirit of Man. Nowhere else is there so painful a contrast between the grandeur of the external world and the littleness of the internal. And the mind, cowed by this unequal struggle, has not only been unable to advance, but without foreign aid it would undoubtedly have receded. For even at present, with all the improvements constantly introduced from Europe, there are no real signs of [9] progress. In his Historia da Litteratura Brasileira , [7] Romero devotes his third chapter to setting Buckle right.

Brazil, he declares, far from suffering excessive rainfall, is subject to calamitous and destructive droughts. Despite the presence of the Amazon, the rivers in general are small, not the largest in the world; the mountains, similarly, far from rearing their crests into unattainable cloudy heights, are of the fourth and fifth order when compared with their fellows of the old world or the new.

Neither are the animals in Brazil more gigantic and ferocious than elsewhere. To the first [10] belongs the excessive heat, in conjunction with the droughts in the major part of the country, as well as the malignant fevers prevalent on the coast. Three ethnic strains have combined to produce the Brazilian of today: 1 the Portuguese, 2 the native Indian, 3 the African Negro, who was brought in as a slave by the Portuguese.

The native element, known as the Brazilian-Guarany, at the time of the discovery knew no metals; they possessed a rudimentary knowledge of weaving, and some of them practised ceramics; their instruments were of polished stone, and their fishing and hunting implements were of the most primitive. The form of organization was rough. Some respected certain rules of morality and religion, in which, for example, the family ties were sacred.

Ethnologists are not agreed upon the religious status of the tribes, hovering between the hypotheses of polytheism and anthropomorphic animism; the latter is more likely. The Portuguese came at the height of their national glory. In the first period there was, chiefly, a crossing of the Portuguese with the Indian mameluco , of the Portuguese with the Negro mulato and of the Indian with the Negro cafuso.

Later interbreeding becomes more complex, owing to the influx of new immigrants from Europe Italians and Germans in particular, and Slavs in the south , and to the abolition of black slavery. So that the question has arisen whether the future of the land will be in the hands of the Luso-Brazilian or the Teuto-Italo-Brazilian. Brazilians naturally favour the former eventuality and in order to insure dominance by the Portuguese-Brazilian element propose new systems of colonization as well as immigration zones. Romero reached the conclusion that the Brazilian people did not constitute a race, but rather a fusion.

Since the Indian is fast disappearing and as traffic in blacks was abolished in , and slavery in , white predominance seems assured. The Brazilian is by nature melancholy, for melancholy is an attribute of each of the three streams that flow in his blood. It has been recognized that the climate of Brazil has resulted in a lyrism sweeter, softer and more passionate than that of the Portuguese.

In the matter of linguistic modification, as of racial blend and national psychology, we of the North have problems similar to those of the Brazilians,—problems often enough obscured by unscientific, sentimental fixations or political dogma. The simple fact is that life, in language as in biology, is change. Whether we are concerned with the evolution of English in the United States, of Spanish in the cluster of Spanish-American republics, or of Portuguese in Brazil, change is the inevitable law. For the Spanish of Spanish-America, Remy de Gourmont, with his insatiable appetite for novelty, originated the term neo-Spanish.

It met with much [14] opposition from the purists, yet it recognizes the ineluctable course of speech. The noted Colombian philologist Rufino Cuervo, in a controversy with the genial conservative Valera, voiced his belief that the Spanish of the new world would grow more and more unlike the parent tongue. It does not matter, for the purpose of the present discussion, whether the linguistic cleavage in any of the instances here given will eventually prove so definite as to originate new tongues.

Such an outcome is far less probable today than it was, say, in the epoch when Latin, through its vulgar form, was breaking up into the Romance languages. Widespread education and the printing press are conserving influences, acting as a check upon capricious modification. And justly, Verissimo asks a similar question for Brazil. I do not believe that among cultured tongues there is one that has given rise to so many controversial cases, or to so many and so diverse contradictions among its leading writers. Without this, however deep his grammatical knowledge of the language, however perfectly he apes the classics, no man is a writer.

The language of Brazil, then, is not the Portuguese of Lisbon. From the phonological viewpoint there is less palatalization of the final s and z than is customary in Portugal; Brazil has a real diphthong ou , which in Lisbonese has become a close o or the diphthong oi. Its pronunciation of the diphthong ei is true, whereas in Lisbon this approximates to ai with a as in English above , or like the u of cut.

Neither is the grammar identical with that of Portugal. It is no longer the language that we are purifying; it is our spirit that we are subjecting to inexplicable servility. To speak differently is not to speak incorrectly. Brazilianisms, so-called, make their appearance very early; they are already present in the letters sent by the Jesuits, as well as in the old chronicles. New plants, new fruits, new animals compelled new words. Native terms enriched the vocabulary. Of course, as has happened with us, often a word for which the new nation is reproached turns out to be an original importation from the motherland.

The Portuguese section was entrusted to Domingos Borges de Barros, baron and later viscount de Pedra Branca, a warm advocate of Brazilian independence, then recently achieved. It is written in French, and because of its documentary importance I translate it in good measure:. The Portuguese tongue abounds in terms and phrases for the expression of impulsive movements and strong actions. In Portuguese one strikes with everything; and when the Frenchman, for example, feels the need of adding the word coup to the thing with which he does the striking, the Portuguese expresses it with the word of the instrument alone.

One says, in French, un coup de pierre ; in Portuguese, pedrada a blow with a stone ; un coup de couteau is expressed in Portuguese by facada a knife thrust and so on. Harshness of the pronunciation has accompanied the arrogance of expression. Through the influence of the climate, through the new ethnic elements,—the voluptuous, indolent Negro and Indian, passionate to the point of crime and sacrifice,—the pronunciation of Portuguese by the Brazilian acquired, so to say, a musical modulation, slow, chanting, soft,—a language impregnated with poesy and languor, quite different from that spoken in Portugal.

A new milieu and a racial amalgamation that effect changes in speech are bound soon or late to produce a new orientation in literature. The question whether that literature is largely derivative or independent is relatively unimportant and academic, as is the analogous question concerning the essential difference of language. The important [20] consideration for us is that the law of change is operating, and that the change is in the direction of independence. Much has been written upon the subject of nationalism in art—too much, indeed,—and of this, altogether too large a part has been needlessly obscured by the fatuities of the narrowly nationalistic mind.

There is, of course, such a thing as national character, though even this has been overdone by writers until the traits thus considered have been so stencilled upon popular thought that they resemble rather caricatures than characteristics. For the rest, literature belongs to art rather than to nationality, to esthetics rather than to politics and geography.

If I bring up the matter here at all it is because such a writer as Sylvio Romero, intent upon emphasizing national themes, now and again distorts the image of his subject, mistaking civic virtue [21] and patriotic aspiration for esthetic values, or worse still, deliberately exalting the former over the latter. By calling for a poetry in agreement with contemporary philosophy. His war-songs suit him perfectly. But to me, who am not of a warlike nature and who have no warlike sense, war-songs would have been a mask which would have fitted my face very badly. I have only composed love-songs when I have loved.

How could I write songs of hatred without hating! The fact belongs to literary history; only when vitalized by the breath of a commanding personality does it enter the realm of art. The history of our own United States literature raises similar problems, which have compelled the editors of The Cambridge History of American Literature to make certain reservations. For nearly two hundred years a people with the same traditions and with the same intellectual capacities as their contemporaries across the sea found themselves obliged to dispense with art for art.

It is indicative, however, that where this condition favoured prose as against verse in the United States, verse in Brazil flourished from the start and bulks altogether too large in the national output. We may take it, then, as axiomatic that Brazilian literature is not exclusively national; no literature is, and any attempt to keep it rigidly true to a norm chosen through a mistaken identification of art with geography and politics is merely a retarding influence.

Like all derivative literatures, Brazilian literature displays outside influences more strongly than do the older literatures with a tradition of continuity behind them. The history of all letters is largely that of intellectual cross-fertilization. From its early days down to the end of the XVIIIth century, the literature of Brazil is dominated by Portugal; [23] the land, intellectually as well as economically, is a colony. The stirrings of the century reach Brazil around , and the interval from then to , the date of the Romanticist triumph in France, marks what has been termed a transitional epoch.

After , letters in Brazil display a decidedly autonomous tendency long forecast, for that matter, in the previous phases , and exhibit that diversity which has characterized French literature since the Romantics went out of power. For it is France that forms the chief influence over latter-day Brazilian letters. A Spanish cleric, [22] author of an imposing fourteen-volume history of Spanish literature on both shores of the Atlantic, has even made out France as the arch villainess, who with her wiles has always managed to corrupt the normally healthy realism of the Spanish soul.

Only yesterday, in Brazil, a similar, if less ingenious, attack was launched against the same country on the score of its denationalizing effect. Yet it is France which was chiefly responsible for that modernism which infused new life into the language and art of Spanish America, later affecting the motherland itself.

And if literary currents have since, in Spanish America, veered to a new-world attitude, so are they turning in Brazil. From [24] this to the realization that Art has no nationality is a forward step; some day it will be taken. As in the United States, so in Brazil, side by side with the purists and the traditionalists a new school is springing up,—native yet not necessarily national in a narrow sense; a genuine national personality is being forged, whence will come the literature of the future. As to the position of the writer in Brazil and Spanish America, it is still a very precarious one, not alone from the economic viewpoint but from the climatological.

Wherefore we produce little; we quickly weary, age and soon die. The Brazilian is an ill-balanced being, impaired at the very root of existence; made rather to complain than to invent, contemplative rather than thoughtful; more lyrical and fond of dreams and resounding rhetoric than of scientific, demonstrable facts. Should the writer conquer these difficulties, others await him. The reading public, especially in earlier days, was always small.

Of the remaining ,, , read only newspapers, 50, read French books, 30, read translations. Fifteen thousand others read the catechism and pious books, 2, study Auguste Comte, and 1, purchase Brazilian works. This is a lost country. But they illustrate a fundamental truth. Literature in Brazil has been, literally, a triumph of mind over matter.

Taken as a whole it is thus, at this stage, not so much an esthetic as an autonomic affirmation. Just as the nation, ethnologically, represents the fusion of three races, with the whites at the head, so, intellectually, does it represent a fusion of Portuguese tradition, native spontaneity and modern European culture, with France still predominant.

Brazilian literature derives chiefly from the Portuguese race, language and tradition as modified by the blending of the colonizers with the native Indians and the imported African slaves. At first an imitative prolongation of the Portuguese heritage, it gradually acquires an autonomous character, entering later into the universal currents of literature as represented by European and particularly French culture.

French ascendency is definitely established in , and even well into the twentieth century most English, German, Russian and Scandinavian works [26] come in through the medium of French criticism and assimilation. No two literary historians of Brazil agree upon a plan of presentation. I am inclined, on the whole, to favour the division suggested by Romero in his Historia da Literatura Brasileira [27] The fourth division allows for the decidedly eclectic tendencies subsequent upon the decline of Romanticism. Not so much separate works or men as the suffusing spirit will engage our attention; what we are here interested in is the formation and development of the Brazilian imaginative creative personality and its salient products.

Page Spanish and Portuguese brasa , a live coal. Also, English brazier. Paris, There is no audacious flight, he declares; no soaring of eagles and condors. Our popular novels and anonymous songs are scant in plot, ingenious imaginings, marvelous imagery, which are so common in their Slavic, Celtic, Greek and Germanic congeners.

And the contribution brought by the negroes and indigenous tribes are even poorer than the part that came to us from the Portuguese. Cultivated literature … is even inferior to the popular productions from the standpoint of the imagination. Literally, interior, midland part. It refers here to the plateau of the Brazilian interior. In the opening pages of his excellent A Brazilian Mystic , R. Pequena Historia da Literatura Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro, For Euclydes da Cunha, see the special chapter devoted to him in part two.

Joaquim Nabuco was a distinguished publicist and writer, born in Pernambuco. In he was ambassador to the United States.


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Compare English longing , yearning , or German Sehnsucht. Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged. Sexta serie. Afranio Peixoto and Monteiro Lobato. A Lingua Nacional. I of the two volumes that appeared in Lisbon in , pages , has some interesting remarks upon the early hispanization of Portuguese in Brazil. Among such effects of Spanish upon Brazilian Portuguese he notes the transposition of the possessive pronouns; the opening of all vowels, thus avoiding the elision of final e or converting final o into u ; the pronunciation of s at the end of a syllable as s instead of as sh , which is the Portuguese rule.

Therein is he like the eagle, who hovers with free gaze over whole countries, and to whom it is of no consequence whether the hare on which he pounces is running in Prussia or in Saxony. What is meant by patriotic deeds? If the poet has employed a life in battling with pernicious prejudice, in setting aside narrow views, in enlightening the minds, purifying the tastes, ennobling the feelings and thoughts of his countrymen, what better could he have done?

Historia de la Lengua y Literatura Castellana , Madrid, to the present. Italian influence is very strong in law, and that of the United States in political organization.

Court Ladies and Courtly Verse in Fifteenth-Century Spain

Our Longfellow, Hawthorne, Whitman and Poe are well known, the latter pair through French rather than the original channels. Second edition, Revised. See, for details, the Selective Bibliography at the back of the book. It is a question whether the people as a mass have really created the poetry and legends which long have been grouped under the designation of folk lore. Here, as in the more rarefied atmosphere of art, it is the gifted individual who originates or formulates the central theme, which is then passed about like a small coin that changes hands frequently; the sharp edges are blunted, the mint-mark is erased, but the coin remains essentially as at first.

Upon the lore and [29] verses of their choosing they stamp the distinguishing folk impress; the creative inspiration here, as elsewhere, is the labour of the salient individual. The study of the Brazilian popular muse owes much to the investigations of the tireless, ubiquitous Sylvio Romero, whom later writers have largely drawn upon. The most copious data are furnished, quite naturally, by the Portuguese.

Hybrid verses appear as an aural and visible symbol of the race-mixture that began almost immediately; there are thus stanzas composed of blended verses of Portuguese and Tupy, of Portuguese and African. Here, as example, is a Portuguese-African song transcribed by Romero in Pernambuco:.

On the whole, that same melancholy which is the hallmark of so much Brazilian writing, is discernible in the popular refrain. The themes are the universal ones of love and fate, with now and then a flash of humour and earthy practicality. At times, as during the Romantic period, this becomes almost dominant. Our folk lore serves to show that the Brazilian people, despite its moodiness and sentimentality, retains at bottom a clear comprehension of life and a sound, admirable inner energy that, at the first touch, bursts forth unexpected and indomitable. For us, the essential point is that Brazilian popular poetry and tale exhibit the characteristic national hybridism; the exotic here feeds upon the exotic.

The sixteenth century, so rich in culture and accomplishment for the Portuguese, is almost barren of literature in Brazil. A few chroniclers, the self-sacrificing Father Anchieta, the poet Bento Teixeiro Pinto,—and the list is fairly exhausted. These are no times for esthetic leisure; an indifferent monarch occupies the throne in [32] Lisbon for the first quarter of the century, with eyes turned to India; in the colony the entire unwieldy apparatus of old-world civilization is to be set up, races are to be exterminated or reconciled in fusion, mines lure with the glitter of gold and diamonds; a nationality, however gradually and unwittingly, is to be formed.

For, though the majority of Portuguese in Brazil, as was natural, were spiritually inhabitants of their mother country, already there had arisen among some a fondness for a land of so many enchantments. For more than fifty years he was the instructor of the population; for his beloved natives he wrote grammars, lexicons, plays, hymns; a gifted polyglot, he employed Portuguese, Spanish, Latin, Tupy; he penned the first autos and mysteries produced in Brazil. His influence, on the whole, however, was more practical than literary; he was not, in the esthetic sense a writer, but rather an admirable Jesuit who performed, amidst the greatest difficulties, a work of elementary civilization.

The homage paid to his name during the commemoration of the tercentenary of his death was not only a personal tribute but in part, too, a rectification of the national attitude toward the Jesuit company which he distinguished. His chief works are Brasilica Societatis Historia et vita clarorum Patrum qui in Brasilia vixerunt , a Latin series of biographies of his fellow-workers; Arte da grammatica da lingoa mais usada na costa do Brasil , a philological study; his Cartas letters ; and a number of autos and poems.

The passage is utterly uninspired; Neptune and Argos rub shoulders with the barbaros amid an insipid succession of verses. The chroniclers of the early colonial period present chiefly points of historic, rather than literary, interest. It consists of two letters, dated and addressed to the provincial of the Company in Portugal. There is little profit in listing the men and works of this age and character. According to Romero the chroniclers exhibit thus early the duplex tendency of Brazilian literature,—description of nature and description of the savage. The tendency grows during the seventeenth century and in the eighteenth becomes predominant, so that viewed in this light, Brazilian nativism, far from being the creation of nineteenth century Romanticism, was rather a historic prolongation.

The sporadic evidences of a nascent nativism become in the seventeenth century a conscious affirmation.

The economic situation becomes more firm, so that Romero may regard the entire century as the epoch of sugar, even as the succeeding century was to be one of gold, and the nineteenth,—as indeed the twentieth,—one of coffee. Agriculture even before the mines,—as Lima has pointed [37] out,—was creating the fortune of the land. Around this tiny but powerful nucleus revolve all the political and economic affairs of the young nationality.

Two profoundly serious factors also appear: the Brazilian family, perfectly constituted, and a hatred for the foreigner, nourished chiefly by religious fanaticism. The Lutheran, English or Flemish, was the common enemy … against whom all vengeance was sacred, all crime just and blessed.

In Brazilian literature, the century belongs mainly to Bahia, which during the second half became a court in little, with its governor as the center of a luxurious entourage. The salient chroniclers and preachers of the century may be passed over in rapid review. His editor, Capistrano de Abreu, has pointed out his importance as a reagent against the dominant tendency of spiritual servitude to Portugal. Manoel de Moraes enjoys what might be called a cenotaphic renown as the author of a Historia da America that has never been found.

Of far sterner stuff than his vagrant brother Gregorio was the preacher Eusebio de Mattos who late in life left the Company of Jesus. There is little in [39] his sermons to fascinate the modern mind or rejoice the soul, and one had rather err in the company of his bohemian brother.


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  5. The poets of the century narrow down to two, of whom the first may be dismissed with scant ceremony. Manoel Botelho de Oliveira was the first Brazilian poet to publish a book of verses. His Musica do Parnaso em quatro coros de rimas portuguezas, castelhanas, italianas e latinas, com seu descante comico reduzido em duas comedias was published at Lisbon in The depths of bathetic prose are reached in a passage oft [40] quoted by Brazilian writers; it reads like a seed catalogue:. Gregorio de Mattos Guerra is easily the [41] outstanding figure of his day.

    Romero, who considered him the pivot of seventeenth-century letters in Brazil, would claim for him, too, the title of creator of that literature, because he was—though educated, like most of the cultured men of his day, at Coimbra—a son of the soil, more nationally minded than Anchieta and in perfect harmony with his milieu. He represents the tendency of the various races to poke fun at one another.

    His brasileiro was not the caboclo nor the Negro nor the Portuguese; he was already the son of the soil, able to ridicule the separatist pretensions of the three races. Verissimo however—and the case may well be taken as an instance of the unsettled conditions prevailing in Brazilian literary criticism—takes a view antipodally apart. Verissimo, I believe, overstates his case.

    That Gregorio de Mattos was not an original creative spirit may at once be admitted. But he was an undoubted personality; he aimed his satiric shafts only too well at prominent creatures of flesh and blood and vindictive passions; he paid for his ardour and temerity with harsh exile and in the end would seem even to have evinced a sincere repentance. Nor did Gregorio de Mattos hold his tongue, whether in the student days at Coimbra—where already he was feared for that wagging lance—or during his later vicissitudes in Brazil.

    In he married Maria dos Povos, whose reward for advising him to give up his satiric habits was to be made the butt of his next satire. It would have been a miracle if he were either happy with or faithful to her; he was neither. He slashed right and left about him; argued cases—and won them! Now his venom bursts forth all the less restrained. Personal enmities made among the influential were bound [43] soon or late to recoil upon him and toward the end of his life he was exiled to the African colony of Angola.

    Upon his return to Brazil he was prohibited from writing verses and sought solace in his viola, in which he was skilled. There is a tenderer aspect to the poet, early noted in his sonnets; despite the wild life he led there are accents of sincerity in his poems of penitence; no less sincere, if less lofty, are his poems of passion, in which love is faunesque, sensual, a thing of hot lips and anacreontic abandon.

    He can turn a pretty and empty compliment almost as gracefully as his Spanish models. But it is really too much to institute a serious comparison between him and Verlaine, as Carvalho would do. Some outward resemblance there is in the lives of the men yet how common after all, are repentance after ribaldry, and connubial [44] infelicity , but Carvalho destroys his own case in the very next paragraph. I am surprised that no Brazilian has found for Gregorio de Mattos Guerra a parallel spirit much nearer than Verlaine in both time and space. The Peruvian Caviedes was some twenty years younger than his Brazilian contemporary; his life has been likened to a picaresque novel.

    He, too, repented, before marriage rather than after; his wife dying, he surrendered to drink and died four years before the Brazilian, if is the correct date. He castigated monastic corruption, trounced the physicians, manhandled the priests, and his snickers echoed in the high places. Of Gregorio de Mattos I will quote a single sonnet [45] written in one of his more sober moods. There is a pleasant, if somewhat conventional, epigrammatical quality to it, as to more than one of the others, and there is little reason for questioning its sincerity.

    Every satirist, at bottom, contains an elegiac poet,—the ashes that remain after the fireworks have exploded. If here, as elsewhere, only the feeling belongs to the poet, since both form and content are of the old world whence he drew so many of his topics and so much of his inspiration, there is an undoubted grafting of his salient personality upon the imported plant. The first half of the eighteenth century, a review of which brings our first period to a close, is the era of the bandeirantes in Brazilian history and of the Academies in the national literature.

    The external enemies had been fought off the outer boundaries in the preceding century; now had come the time for the conquest of the interior. Men and women of all ages, together with the necessary animals, composed these moving outposts of conquest. This was a living epic; the difficulties were all but insurmountable and the heroism truly superhuman.

    No literature this,—with its law of the jungle which is no law,—with its immitigable cruelty to resisting indigenous tribes, and finally, the internecine strife born of partial failure, envy and vindictiveness. At Bahia and Rio de Janeiro Academies [47] were formed, evidencing some sort of attempt at unifying taste and aping, at a distance, the favourite diversion that the Renaissance had itself copied from the academies of antiquity. Among the other academies were that of the Felizes i. Pride in the national literature is already evident.

    Eustace, in six cantos, each preceded by an octave summary; the fifth canto contains a quasiprophetic vision in which posterity, in the guise of an old man, requests the author to celebrate his native isle. This section, the Ilha da Itaparica , has rescued the poem from total oblivion. But the passage possesses hardly any transmissive fervor [48] and the native scene is viewed through the glasses of Greek mythology.

    It is a barren half century for literature. The one was a physicist and mathematician; the other, a statesman. Romero regards it as a patriotic hymn, laden with ostentatious learning and undoubted leanings toward Portugal. Romero would make out a case for him on the ground of birth in the colony, family influences and the nature of his lyrism, which, according to that polemical spirit, was Brazilian.

    Yet his plays are linked with the history of the Portuguese drama and it is hard to discover, except by excessive reading between the lines, any distinctive Brazilian character. At the age of eight he was taken to Portugal by his mother, who was summoned thither to answer [50] the charge of Judaism; in he was compelled to answer to the same charge, but freed; hostile forces were at work against him, however, not alone for his religious beliefs but for his biting satire, and chiefly through the bought depositions of a servant he was finally convicted and burned on October 21st, The strains of one of his operettas fairly mingled with the crackling of the flames.

    For long, [51] he was the most popular of the Portuguese dramatists after Gil Vicente. The martyred Jew has had no creative influence upon Brazilian literature. The first phase of Brazilian letters is, then, a tentative groping, reflecting the numerous influences across the ocean and the instability of a nascent civilization at war on the one hand with covetous foreigners and on the other with fractious, indigenous tribes.

    The chroniclers [52] are in the main picturesque, informative, rambling rather than artistic; the poets are either vacuous or swollen with the pomp of old-world rhetoric. Even so virile a spirit as Gregorio de Mattos conducts his native satire with the stylistic weapons forged in Europe, and the dawn of a valid nativism is shot through with gleams of spiritual adherence to Portugal and intellectual subjection to the old continent. Yet, as the child is father to the man, so even in these faltering voices may be detected the dominant notes of the later literature,—its imagination, its fondness for rotund expression, its pride of milieu, its Oriental exuberance, its wistful moodiness, its sensual ardor.

    Ferdinand Denis. The Brazilian section occupies pages Their salient trait, like that of their Brazilian relative, is a certain wistful sadness. Madrid, This Spanish version, by Carlos Pereyra, is much easier to procure than the original. Also pp. See the essay cited in the preceding notes, pages The Indians were idealized by a Romanticism in quest of elevated souls; the Africans found defenders who rose in audacious flight, but the brave pioneers of the conquest, men of epic stature, have not received even the same measure of sympathy.

    It has the first A in its arvoredos trees , ever green and fair to gaze upon; it has the second A in its pure atmosphere ares , so pleasant and certain in temperature; it has the third A in its cool waters aguas , that refresh the throat and bring health; the fourth A in its delightful sugar assucar , which is the fairest gift of all the world.

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    Berlin, See, for a discussion of this book, the Selective Critical Bibliography at the back of the present work. Los Poetas de la Colonia , Pp. Why, then, if the sun must die, was it born? Why, if light be beautiful, does it not endure? How is beauty thus transfigured? How does pleasure thus trust pain? But let firmness be lacking in sun and light, let permanence flee beauty, and in joy, let there be a note of sadness. Let the world begin, at length, in ignorance; for, whatever the boon, it is by nature constant only in its inconstancy.

    Aspectos da Litteratura Colonial Brazileira. Leipzig, This youthful work of the eminent cosmopolite furnishes valuable as well as entertaining collateral reading upon the entire colonial period in Brazil. The standpoint is often historical rather than literary, yet the proportions are fairly well observed. In Yiddish.

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    Page 33, Volume I. It is generally replete with love and the allied feelings. Struggle for the territory of Brazil had bred a love for the soil that was bound sooner or later to become spiritualized into an aspiration toward autonomy. The brasileiros were not forever to remain the bestas that the hell-mouth of Bahia had called them, nor provide luxury for the maganos de Portugal.

    Taxes grew, and with them, resentment. Yet, as so often, the articulation of that rebellious spirit came not from the chief sufferers of oppression, but from an idealistic band of poets whose exact motives have not yet been thoroughly clarified by historical investigation. Few less fitted to head a separatist movement than these lyric, idealistic spirits who form part of the Inconfidencia Disloyalty group [54] immortalized in Brazilian history through the hanging of Tiradentes and the imprisonment and exile of a number of others.

    It was against him that were launched the nine satirical verse letters called Cartas Chilenas and signed by the pseudonym Critillo Menezes was succeeded by Barbacena who it was rumoured, meant to exact the payment of arrobas of gold, overdue from the province. It was this that proved the immediate stimulus to an only half-proved case of revolt, which, harshly suppressed, deprived Brazil of a number of its ripest talents.

    It is not known whether [56] the authors, though contemporaries, knew each other or read their respective works. The idea of the fatherland, the national thought, which in Gregorio de Mattos is as yet a simple movement of bad humour, vagrant spite and the revolt of an undisciplined fellow, becomes in them the tender affection for their native land.

    The Uruguay especially reveals this nascent nationalism as it existed among the loyal Portuguese in the epoch just previous to the Inconfidencia. The author of the first wrote [57] it, as he said, to satisfy a certain curiosity about Uruguay; also, he might have added, to flatter his patron, the then powerful Pombal, who, it will be recalled, at one time harboured the idea of transplanting the Portuguese throne to the colony across the sea. It would be an error, however, to see in the small epic but five cantos long a glorification of the native. The villains, of course, are the Jesuits out of whose fold the author had come,—the helpers of the Indians of Uruguay who revolted against the treaty between Portugal and Spain according to which they were given into the power of the Portuguese.


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    It does not employ the outworn octave, but sonorous blank verse. As they were secondary to his purpose, so were they in his conception. He is not sung, but is rather an element of the song. In this first phase of Indianism the sympathy of the poet is transferred only incidentally to the savage. So that, in the main, it is the attitude of the poet that distinguished the two Indianisms: indifferent in the first, sympathetic in the second.

    The better verses of the earlier epic are a balm to the ear and a stimulus to the imagination; those of the later lack communicative essence. The [60] subject of his epic is the half-legendary figure of Diogo Alvares Correa, [5] a sort of Brazilian John Smith, who, wrecked upon the coast, so impressed the natives with the seeming magic of his firearms that he was received as their chief.

    In her dying voice she upbraids him and then sinks beneath the waves.

    Poems Cited, with Verse Translations and Commentary

    Yet there is a single line in O Uruguay which contains more poetry than this octave and many another of the stanzas in this ten-canto epic. It is worth while recalling, too, that the Indian of the first is from a Spanish-speaking tribe, and that the Indian of the second is a native Brazilian type. These men did not of set purpose advance an esthetic theory and seek to exemplify it in their writings; they are children of their day rather than brothers-in-arms.

    Like the epic poets, so they, in their verses, foreshadow the coming of the Romanticists some fifty years later; the spirits of the old world and the new contend in their lines as in their lives. Romero, in his positive way, has catalogued him with the race of Lamartine and even called him a predecessor of the Brazilian Byronians. No other book of love poems has so appealed to the Portuguese reader; the number of editions through which the Marilia de Dirceu has gone is second only to the printings of Os Lusiadas , and has, since the original issue in , reached to thirty-four.

    His heart, as he told her in one of his most popular stanzas, was vaster than the world and it was her abode. Gonzaga, like Claudio, was one of the Inconfidencia ; he fell in love with his lady at the age of forty, when she was eighteen, and sentimental Brazilians have never forgiven her for having lived on to a very ripe old age after her Dirceu, as he was known in Arcadian circles, died in exile. Yet she may have felt the loss deeply, for a story which Verissimo believes authentic tells of D.

    If, as time goes on, he surrenders his sway to the more sensuous lyrics of later poets, he is none the less a fixed star in the poetic constellation. The famous book is divided into two parts, the first written before, the second, after his exile. As might be expected; the first is primaveral, aglow with beauty, love, joy. Too, it lacks the depth of the more sincere second, which is more close to the personal life of the suffering artist.

    He began in glad hope; he ends in dark doubt. It is the most noble and perfect idealization of love that we possess. There is a certain Brazilianism, too, as Wolf noted, in his Ide to Maria. In him, more than in any other of the lyrists, may be noted the stirrings of the later romanticism. The question of the authorship of the Cartas Chilenas , salient among satirical writings of the eighteenth century, has long troubled historical critics.

    In , when [67] the second edition of the poem appeared, it was signed Gonzaga, and later opinion tends to reinforce that claim. Like Gregorio de Mattos, the author of the Cartas is a spiteful scorpion. But he has a deeper knowledge of things and there is more humanity to his bitterness. There is, in his lines, the suggestion of reality, but it is a reality that the foreigner, and perhaps the Brazilian himself, must reconstruct with the aid of history, and this diminishes the appeal of the verses.

    The lesser poets of the era may be passed over with scant mention. Best of them all is Domingos Caldas Barbosa known to his New Arcadia as Lereno and author of an uneven collection marred by frequent improvisation. The prose of the century, inferior [68] to the verse, produced no figures that can claim space in so succinct an outline as this.

    The ports of the land, hitherto restricted to vessels of the Portuguese monarchy, were thrown open to the world; the first newspapers appeared; Brazil, having tasted the power that was bestowed by the mere temporary presence of the monarch upon its soil, could not well relinquish this supremacy after he departed in The era, moreover, was one of colonial revolt; between and the Spanish dependencies of America rose against the motherland and achieved their own freedom; marks the establishment of the independent Brazilian monarchy.

    Now begins a literature that may be properly called national, though even yet it wavered between the moribund classicism and the nascent romanticism, even as the form of government remained monarchial on its slow and dubious way to republicanism. Arcadian imagery still held sway in poetry and there was a decline from the originality of the Mineira group. The [69] first, influenced by Rousseau, is avowedly Christian in purpose but the inner struggle that produced his verses makes of him a significant figure in a generally sterile era, and his Ode ao homen selvagem contains lines of appeal to our own contemporary dubiety.

    There is, too, a long description of Rio de Janeiro which describes very little. Though these religious poets are of secondary importance to letters, they provided one of the necessary ingredients of the impending Romantic triumph; their Christian outlook, added to nationalism, tended to produce, as Wolf has indicated, a genuinely Brazilian romanticism.

    His scientific accomplishments have found ample chronicling in the proper places; quickly he won a reputation throughout Europe. They are, like himself, a thing of violent passions. In Aos Bahianos he exclaims:. Two years before the publication of his poems he who so much loved to command fell from power with the dissolution of the Constituinte and he reacted in characteristic violence. Brazilians no longer loved liberty:. A number of other versifiers and prose writers are included by Brazilians in their accounts of the national letters; Romero, indeed, with a conception of literature more approaching that of sociology than of belles lettres, expatiates with untiring gusto upon the work of a formidable [71] succession of mediocrities.

    We have neither the space nor the patience for them here. It is during the early part of the period epitomized in this chapter that Brazilian literature, born of the Portuguese, began to be drawn upon by the mother country. The period as a whole represents a decided step forward from the inchoate ramblings of the previous epoch. Yet, with few exceptions, it is of interest rather in retrospection, viewed from our knowledge of the romantic movement up to which it was leading.

    Later writers either retain the first or replace it with the more common u. Segunda Serie, pp. A Frenchman has even spoken of the romanticism of the classics, which is by no means merely a sample of Gallic paradox. The Brazilian critic considers France the only one of the neo-Latin literatures that may be said to possess a genuinely classic period.

    As I have tried to suggest here and elsewhere, we have need of a change in literary terminology; classic and romantic are hazy terms that should, in time, be supplanted by something more in consonance with the observations of modern psychology. The emphasis, I would say, should be shifted from the subject-matter and external aspects to the psychology of the writer and his intuitive approach.

    The distinctions have long since lost their significance and should therefore be replaced by a more adequate nomenclature. Verissimo rejects any such poetic interpretation and makes the topic food for fruitful observation. He considers the Brazilian savage, as any other, of rudimentary and scant imagination, incapable of lofty metaphorical flights. And to this name they added nothing marvellous, as our active imagination has pictured. And unseen ever after, she was engulfed by the waters. But worst and saddest grief of all is to find that at no time is this fantastic victory of love transitory, for always it is repeated in remembrance.

    Let not treacherous contentment deceive you; for this present pleasure, when it has passed, will remain as a tormenting memory. He who created so perfect and entrancing a work, my fairest Marilia, likewise could make the sky and more, if more there be. This is my sole crime! The cry of liberty that once thundered through Brazil now is mute amidst chains and corpses. Over its ruins, far from their fatherland, weep its wandering sons. Because they loved it, they are accused of treason, by an infamous, truckling band. Though usually associated with French literature, the Romanticism of the first half of the nineteenth century, like that later neo-romanticism which nurtured the Symbolist and the Decadent schools of the second half, came originally from Germany, and was in essence a philosophy of self-liberation.

    But national creative production thrives on cross-fertilization and self-made literatures are [73] as unthinkable as self-made men. And herein, of course, lies the great distinction between the mere nativism which is so easily taken for a national note, and that nationalism which adds to the exaltation of the milieu the spiritual consciousness of unity and independence.

    A national literature, in the fuller sense, is now possible because it is the expression not solely of an aspiration but of partial accomplishment, with a historic background in fact. Poetry becomes more varied; the novel takes more definite form; genuine beginnings [74] are made in the theatre, though, despite valiant attempts to prove the contrary, the Brazilian stage is the least of its glories. Carvalho, selecting the four representative poets of the period, has characterized each by the trait most prominent in his work.

    This group is but a solo quartet in a veritable chorus of singers that provides a variegated setting. The individual songs resound now more clearly, like so many strains in the polyphonic hymn of national liberation. The salient four are by no means restricted to the style of verse indicated by their classification, but such a grouping helps to emphasize the main currents of the new poetry.

    A visit to Europe in converted him thoroughly to French Romanticism and when, three years later, he issued the Suspiros poeticos e Saudades Poetic Sighs and Longings , the very title proclaimed the advent of a new orientation. His invocation to the angel of poesy is in itself a miniature declaration of poetic independence:. The chaste virgins of Greece, as he announces in the lines preceding this virtual, if distinctly minor ars poetica , have fascinated his childhood enough.

    Farewell Homer; the poet will dream now of his native land and sigh, amid the cypress, a song made of his own griefs and longings. They are his constant thought at home and abroad. Os Mysterios , a funereal canticle in memory of his children, published in Paris in , is in eight cantos that sing the triumph of faith. God exists and the human spirit is immortal in that knowledge. Urania , Vienna , chants love through the symbol of his wife.

    The attitude toward the Jesuit missionaries is the opposite to the stand taken by Basilio da Gama in the Uruguay ; they alone among the Portuguese are worthy; the Indians yield at last to civilization, but they are idealized into defenders of justice against the Portuguese exploiters. Edit your search preferences Search Tips.

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