Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Brazilian Literature"

João Guimarães Rosa’s “Grande Sertão,” featured in “Words without Borders,” gains new translation

The wait appears to be over: on the sixtieth anniversary of its publication, Grande Sertão: Veredas (Bedeviled in the Badlands), the masterpiece of twentieth-century Brazilian writer João Guimarães Rosa, has received the financial support necessary to make its re-translation into English viable. Today, the Instituto Itaú Cultural announced it will support Alison Entrekin’s translation of Rosa’s novel—championed by Words without Borders in our...

From the Translator: On “Beauty, a Terrible Story”

Image: From the cover of the Brazilian edition of The Dragons Haven’t Been to Paradise, published by Companhia das Letras.  Bruna Dantas Lobato’s translation of Caio Fernando Abreu’s “Beauty, a Terrible Story” appears in the July 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “Brazil Beyond Rio.” Caio Fernando Abreu’s “Beauty, a Terrible Story” was first published in 1989 in The Dragons Haven’t Been to Paradise, a...

When in Hell, Embrace the Devil: On Recreating “Grande Sertão: Veredas” in English

Image: Passages of Grande Sertão: Veredas hanging in the Museum of the Portuguese Language in São Paulo. (Wikimedia Commons.) Alison Entrekin’s translation of an excerpt from Grande Sertão: Veredas appears in the July 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “Brazil Beyond Rio.” When I was approached about translating a certain Brazilian literary classic renowned for its made-up language and asked if I’d be willing to produce a...

Brazil Beyond Rio

Any attempt to introduce Brazil in a single essay is fraught from the outset. The country is, much like the United States, a continental nation, the site of European discovery tales to rival our own, and host to a series of political upheavals. It is also home to a literary history that has at times looked outward for inspiration, and at others inward to construct, via literature, an idea of nationhood that has often seemed elusive. Perhaps a solution presents itself in an idea every bit...

Grande Sertão: Veredas (Bedeviled in the Badlands)

The following is an excerpt from the new translation of João Guimarães Rosa’s magnum opus, Grande Sertão: Veredas, first published in English in 1963. That translation soon fell out of print for reasons that are not entirely clear. As translator Alison Entrekin explains in her introduction to the piece on our blog, “[t]o read Grande Sertão: Veredas for the first time in Portuguese is like setting foot in a foreign country where the...

The Time Left

They were hard to push down, the buttons. Stiff, you might say. Marcelinho strained and scrunched his face, and succeeded. It still worked, even after everything. The buttons had always been stiff, even before Ricardo’s death. The little door was cracked, and behind the plastic Marcelinho said he saw some bloodstains, still. “Don’t be daft, son. That thing’s clean as a whistle. And be grateful that piece of junk still works.” Work is too ambiguous a word....

Death in the Amazon

The Assassination 1. They’ve set up the ambush by a small bridge across a stream. They’ve been hiding among the trees since early morning—and they’re lying in wait. They know that José Cláudio and Maria will have to slow down here. That’s when the first shot is fired. Discharged from a hunting rifle, the bullet hits both of them at once: it goes through Maria’s hand and lodges near the left wall of José Cláudio’s...

Lua

“When are you going to write a book like Knife?” “Never, for sure.”   I was choosing the songs to put on the soundtrack of Lua Cambará when I came across the recordings of the spirituals commending the souls of the dead to God. Ten cassette tapes stored in a Styrofoam box. In the northeast of Brazil they still chant songs filled with religiosity during funeral celebrations. The women’s voices seemed to sprout up, beautiful and strange, up from...

Beauty, a Terrible Story

To Sergio Keuchguerian “You’ve never heard of a curse never seen a miracle never cried alone in a filthy bathroom nor ever wanted to see the face of God.” —Cazuza, “Only Mothers Are Happy” Only after ringing the doorbell many times did he finally hear the rumble of footsteps coming down the stairs. And he recognized the worn rug, once purple, later just red, then each time a lighter shade of pink—now, what color?—and heard the tuneless bark...

Quipapá Gold

L’or de Quipapá is the debut novel from Hubert Tézenas, an author who has spent the first thirty years of his career translating American and Brazilian novels into his native French. The crime novel dives into Brazil of the late 80s, exploring all the crime, corruption, and seedy underbelly of a country in economic repression, having just recovered from a military dictatorship. Quipapá is home to a sugar cane magnate, whose workers are treated more like slaves....

Falling in Love with Bahia & Brazil: On Negritude, Saudade, & Surrender

I have been trying actively to stave off a case of Brazil-o-philia since the early 2000s when I lived in pre-gentrification Brooklyn. Preventive care for me looked like resisting the allure of capoeira classes, which offered the promise of instant friendship and community, endless references to obscure terminology, a pet name (as a West Indian, it’s hard for me to resist affectionate teasing and nicknames), and a warrior physique. Determined to keep my hot foot off Brazilian soil, I...

The Pharmacist’s First Report

The following is an excerpt from Lúcio Cardoso’s Chronicle of a Murdered House, forthcoming in December 2016 from Open Letter Books. My name is Aurélio dos Santos, and for many years I have been established in our small town with a business selling medicines and pharmaceutical products. Indeed my shop could be considered the only such establishment in the town, for there is little competition from the stall selling homeopathic remedies on the Praça da...

Coral Reef

Imaginary distances part from this spot, mirages which tell of the true distances between us. A man planted in front of the window is a ghost of himself suspended by improbable lines and colors. We are him and he is all of us as if we were yet the city around him. We are him and his slumped shoulders. We are him and his face gnawed by fish. We are him and the narrow streets that cut across him and stick through him like poles shackles and other senseless forms of nostalgia (like all forms...

ithaca

if you want to journey to ithaca call ahead because it looks like everything in ithaca is full restaurants, bars cheap hotels pricey hotels you can't travel to the ionian sea anymore  without reservations  and the ten-hour trip feels like ten years stopping in egypt? don't even think about it and the duty-free shops are full of perfumes you can buy with a credit card. your whole life you've wanted  to visit greece it was a childhood dream conceived in adulthood...

Ephemeral Invention

After Ferreira Gullar It’s this body through which I discern myself a body made of flesh and desire of limestone and fuel of sap and ecstasy of clay and wind carbon fiber and shit. This body which, prone to dejection, at times boasts such grandeur such nobility a window onto my own illusions that, as I walk the streets, others anoint with the same name my mother gave me the one the notary public recorded in his notepad. A body —head torso and limbs skin guts smiles and...

WWB Weekend: Alcibiades in Brazil, or Machado de Assis for the Impeachment Debacle

Unless you’ve been taking a break from the international headlines, you’ve no doubt caught wind of the turmoil sweeping Brazil in recent weeks, culminating with Brazil’s chamber of deputies taking the first step toward the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff, a move many maintain is a soft coup. While there’s much room for debate—whether the impeachment in the works constitutes a coup or whether the fiscal acrobatics Rousseff engaged in constitute an...

From “What are the Blind Men Dreaming?”

The following is an excerpt from Jaffe's multi-generic book due out later this year from Deep Vellum publishing. Jaffe's book is composed of the individual voices of three generations of women: mother, in the diary she wrote after liberation from Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen; daughter, considering the power of memory and survival; and granddaughter, reflecting on what it means to be the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. In this excerpt, we open with a...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Interview with Adriana Lisboa

A novelist, poet, and short story writer, Adriana Lisboa’s works include the novels Symphony in White (winner of the José Saramago Prize), Crow Blue (named one of the best books of the year by The Independent), and Hanoi (one of O Globo’s best books of the year), the poetry collection Parte da paisagem, and some children’s books. She has had her books published in more than fifteen countries. Lisboa studied music and literature, and has worked as a musician,...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: The Flip of all Flips

Located on Brazil’s lush Green Coast, midway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Paraty is a colonial-era town of whitewashed buildings with brightly painted shutters, famous for its beaches, mountains, and cachaça distilleries. For five days last week, its unwieldy cobblestone streets (aka pedras portuguesas falsas) were filled with not only the usual backpackers, horse-drawn carriages, and friendly stray dogs, but also 25,000-some literary types from around the...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Interview with Luciana Hidalgo

It should come as no surprise that walking and yoga—one of which propels her outside, letting her feet and thoughts wander her current city, the other which forces her to slow down, turn inward, and put her “constant circulation of ideas” on hold—are of equal importance to Luciana Hidalgo’s creative process. The Brazilian writer, journalist, and essayist frequently explores opposing forces in her work.  A two-time winner of Brazil’s most prestigious...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Complete Series

A yearlong series of literary dispatches from Brazil: interviews, event coverage, and reflections on life in the cidade maravilhosa. Notes from a Poet in Rio Carnaval Edition Interview with Pacha Urbano Interview with Luciana Hidalgo Interview with Paulo Henriques Britto Romeo and Juliet in the Dessert Aisle Interview with Larissa Min Why You Don't Want Rice and Beans in Your Match The Flip of All Flips Interview with Sylvio Fraga In Search of Manoel de Barros's...

Señor Capitán

The lawyer beside me shrugs in silence. His body language seems to suggest that some stories can’t be captured in words. He tries nonetheless. To make his narrative more palatable, he loosens his necktie and speaks slowly, as if rationing out his words . . .. He’s a middle-aged man, tired and earnest. We’ve been talking for a while in the hotel bar. Drink in hand, he braces himself to tell of an episode he lived through, back when he was still in the Dominican Republic,...

Introduction: Writing from Brazil

How does a Brazilian write? How should a writer respond to a country as full of variety and stories as Brazil? And what do we in the Anglophone world know about Brazilian culture today? As you might expect, we have a multiplicity of responses for you in this  issue. We wanted to bring you authors who are just waiting to be discovered in the Anglophone world and let you choose your own favorites. We wanted to go beyond the expected stories and settings (the favela gangsters and the...

Mermaid in Earnest

the cruelest part was that as beautiful as much as her features flaunted a genetic pedigree of bonafide aristocracy and her hands deftly wielded needlework and roast chickens and her tresses attested to tortoiseshell combs and splendid grooming the fascination would always remain with the mermaid’s tail i won’t repeat the story after andersen & co we all know the rough path first the impossible desire for the prince (doll in formal attire) then awareness of powerful...

Sixteen Degrees on Avenida Paulista

I sixteen degrees on Paulista             I had the verse so well structured this morning and drive in the flow of traffic                         never has there been a more lovely place                         nor a more loyal citizen II you are called a concrete jungle          ...

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.