Haroldo de Campos: Da razão antropofágica

…diálogo e diferença na cultura brasileira. It’s Haroldo de Campos and it was originally published in the Boletim Bibiliográfico, I think of Mario de Andrade vol. 44 n. 1/4 S. Paul, Jan.-Dez. 1983. 106-27. It is a classic article and I am recycling my photocopy, nostalgic though that is. I’m sure I can find it again. I found this response to it that is interesting and points out that all its references, and the references in Caetano/Tropicália are elite ones. Black Style is also cannibalistic, says the author. But does that assertion go far enough? It does not question the cannibalistic model.

Some notes: issues are the national vs. the universal, and avant-garde and/or underdevelopment; the possibility that underdeveloped countries can lead in cultural work. Paz talks about this in Corriente alterna.

TODO PASSADO QUE NOS E “OUTRO” MERECE SER NEGADO [COMIDO, DEVORADO] (109). So: we’re Indians devouring Europeans, but again, what happened to the Black?

Cendrars’ Brazilian poems; the Huidobro/Reverdy relationship (I don’t know enough about that, but I think Haroldo is saying Altazor is better than the Reverdy poems it ate).

Important: nacionalismo ontológico (the idea that there is a national spirit) vs. modal, which Derridean-ly, is a “movimento dialógico da diferença” … Macunaíma would be like this, and then there’s Brazilian literature’s non-infancy: the Baroque, which also does this; Gregório de Matos is a cannibal.


Campos is impressed with the convergence of poets and Tropicalismo (like combining the Beatles and John Cage) … I say that in a smaller country, which Brazil is effectively, of course that happens. Still, I see his point…

Oswald: “Coup de Dents” … bárbaros alexandrinos…

And, off topic: Lafetá, “Os pressupostos básicos,’ 1930: A crítica e o modernismo, said that by the 1930s the avant-garde was more about politics, expressing political points of view, than an aesthetic project (i.e.: it was one esthetic project, I think this means, it’s not really a debate about aesthetics but about political views expressed)

Anyway, this is a good article, I see it, there’s a lot in it, I’m glad to have been turned onto it when it was new and I will revisit it. And overall, I’m glad to have had the education and opportunities I’ve had, and I don’t like not having had the opportunity to use them well, I have all this grief and sadness about that, but … now.


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